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Himachal’s pharma industry lifeline for neighbouring states during pandemic: CM Thakur

Talking to representatives of the pharma sector during a virtual meet, Thakur said that Himachal, being Asia’s largest pharmaceutical hub, has been providing oxygen supplies and Covid-related medicines to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
May 13, 2021 9:25:22 pm
Himachal MBBS students salary, Himachal MBBS students, Himachal coronavirus cases, Himachal news, Himachal Pradesh, coronavirus news, Jai Ram ThakurHimachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh/File)

The pharmaceutical industry of Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a lifeline for its neighbouring states during the ongoing second wave of Covid pandemic, said Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur Thursday.

Talking to representatives of the pharma sector during a virtual meet, Thakur said that Himachal, being Asia’s largest pharmaceutical hub, has been providing oxygen supplies and Covid-related medicines to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Even during the first wave, he said, when 50 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) were shipped from India to the United States, a significant portion was manufactured in Himachal, and the state has been supplying medical supplies to the rest of the country throughout the pandemic.

The state’s pharmaceutical industry is primarily concentrated in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) industrial belt in Solan district and the industrial areas of Sirmaur, Kangra and Una districts. Several medicines being prescribed in Covid management such as Ivermectin and Doxycycline are being manufactured in the state. According to state government officials, the Inox oxygen plant in Barotiwala generates 125 metric tonnes daily out of which a quota of 15MT is allocated for Himachal while the rest is supplied to other states.

The CM said that pharma manufacturers helped the state government expand its oxygen storage by 25 MT simply by supplying the much-needed empty cylinders. “We had never thought that we’ll fall short in oxygen generation and storage capacities, but we had to expand them both,” he said.

Urging manufacturers to further ramp up their production levels and help the state become a leading pharmaceutical exporter, he said that pharma companies are welcome to set up new units for making medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators and cylinders.

The manufacturers, in their turn, asked Thakur to launch a vaccination drive among the workforce in the industrial areas on a priority basis so that production goes on uninterrupted. Among those present were representatives from Morepen, Tirupati Group, Sun Pharma, Acme Group, Cipla, Fermenta Biotech, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Abbott, Zydus Cadila and Glenmark.

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