India’s pharma industry an asset for entire world, says PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Indian pharmaceutical companies are active in international efforts for the development and production of a vaccine for Covid-19.Updated: Jul 09, 2020 16:55 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday underlined the contribution of India’s pharmaceutical industry in the production of vaccines for the world and described the industry in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine.
“Vaccines made in India are responsible for two-thirds of the vaccine needs of the world’s children. Today, our companies are active in international efforts for the development and production of Covid-19 vaccine,” Modi said at the India Global Week 2020, a virtual conference organised in the UK.
He also cited the role of Indian pharma companies in reducing the cost of medicines. “India’s pharma industry is an asset not just for India but for the entire world,” he said.
India’s first potential Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has been jointly developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) and has been cleared for human trials.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected more than 7,67 lakh Indians and claimed more than 21,000 lives so far.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is among the seven Indian firms working on Covid-19 vaccines. It was the first to get the regulatory nod to begin phase 1 and phase 2 human trials to test a vaccine named Covaxin for efficacy and safety.
Covaxin, has been jointly developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL).
Zydus Cadila has also received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for human clinical trials for ZyCov-D, its vaccine candidate for Covid-19
Last week, the ICMR said that it is attempting to launch the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine on August 15. The plan was disclosed in a letter by the Indian Council of Medical Research to 12 institutes where human trials are to be held for the vaccine.
But it triggered disbelief among scientists who say the process requires painstaking trials and analysis and cannot reliably be completed in the remaining time for the deadline.
After coming under fire for its plan of a mid-August launch, the ICMR said on Saturday that its attempt to speed up the development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine was aimed at cutting red tape.
On June 30, Modi had reviewed India’s preparations for vaccinating its vast population against Covid-19 once a vaccine becomes available.
The PM had stressed that vaccination must be affordable and universal and directed officials to evaluate various technology tools to ensure efficient and timely vaccination in due course of time. He also directed that detailed planning for such large scale vaccination should be undertaken immediately.