COVID-19 has stretched the world’s resources severely, and corporates and institutions have stepped up like never before. A humanitarian crisis of the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic presents times of great uncertainty and change. While industries and individuals are grappling with the challenges, the global pharmaceutical industry has taken center stage in the fight against COVID-19, its contribution ranging from vaccine development, research on repurposed and novel medicines, production of testing kits, and support to frontline workers and the needy.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharma industry will also witness massive shifts in R&D, supply chain, operations, digital adoption and talent management.
“Being a part of Essential Services, the pharma industry has been particularly responsive to the disruption caused by COVID-19 and taken exemplary and expedited steps to ensure business continuity. In fact, the Operations model of pharma companies has become a ready working model for resumption of manufacturing operations across industries.”, Lupin said.
“At Lupin, we are using this challenge as an opportunity to become more resilient, more efficient and more focused on bringing quality, affordable treatments to market faster to help improve outcomes for patients.”, the company’s annual report FY 2019-20 said.
“Overcoming input material disruptions and logistic challenges, our commercial and operational teams at Lupin are working closely with our customers and government agencies to ensure that we are able to maintain a consistent supply of our products, including those for the treatment of COVID-19.”
“At the peak of the disruption in April 2020, Lupin sites still delivered 90% of their formulations target and 120% of their API target. A March 2020 survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Chain Management, stated that nearly 75% of companies reported supply chain disruption in one form or the other due to coronavirus-related transportation restrictions.”
Companies across sectors are revaluating their strategies to address supply chain risks. The Government of India has indicated its support by announcing several incentives to set up API units to boost domestic manufacturing in India and mitigate risk of supply chain shocks from external sources. At Lupin, we are using this opportunity to reassess our manufacturing footprint, de-risk in-line products and engrain flawless execution as a key differentiator.
“Lupin has less than 30% dependence on early raw materials and intermediates from China and our supply chain ensured that we remained insulated from supply disruption “, the Annual Report said.
Leveraging opportunity The U.S. spends about 17% of its GDP on healthcare. According to a report by IMARC, the global generics drugs market is expected to reach US$ 497 Billion by 2025. India stands to gain as a leading provider of generic medicines to the U.S. India accounts for 46% of generics supplies to the U.S. market by volumes.
“With more emphasis on global drug supply security, we expect Indian generic majors to benefit by further leveraging our low-cost base, high throughput, quality standards and the skill set required to take on newer challenges.”, the company said.
Giving for Goodness
Employees raised Rs. 55 Million by contributing two days of their salary and Lupin contributed a matching sum of Rs. 55 Million. In addition, the Dr. Desh Bandhu Gupta family contributed Rs. 100 Million to together set up the Lupin, COVID-19 Relief Fund to drive initiatives that support overburdened healthcare systems through donation of PPEs, medicines and provide for meals for front-line workers and the needy. We are humbled and proud of the difference that we have been able to make.
To date Lupin has donated 2.38 Million masks, 1.12 Million medical equipment, 130,800 PPE suits, 470,000 sanitizers, and 208,200 food kits and supported 93,000 migrants during the COVID-19 crisis.
Lupin’s Global Giving Programs extend to our communities across India, U.S., Latin America and Europe. In addition to numerous measures that we carried out directly, the Lupin COVID-19 Relief Fund has contributed meaningfully to the PM CARES Fund in India and supported healthcare facilities across the severely affected regions of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore and Florida.
A key step in risk mitigation against future disruptions will be the creation of flexible operating models, increasing automation and reliance on technology to minimize human interface. Further, uptick in digital promotional activity is likely with physicians advocating for more patient engagement on virtual platforms with promotion moving into the virtual space.
“We see that Industry 4.0 adoption would unleash cost optimization possibilities and drive efficiencies in ways never imagined before. At the same time, we as an industry, deal with sensitive information that is required to comply with several regulations. We now see Digital becoming a key anchor of our strategy, having deep impact on our research, manufacturing, quality, commercial and other allied operations.”, the company added.
Embracing digital During COVID-19, Lupin was the first Indian pharma company to suspend field operations and introduce a Digital platform for customer engagement through which our field force could connect with doctors effectively.
(This report based on Lupin Limited annual report FY 2019-20)