India getting ready for COVID-19 vaccines: Sadananda Gowda

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) With many of the vaccine development efforts almost reaching fruition, India is getting ready to have multiple vaccines in the next few weeks or months, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda said on Thursday.

India is often referred to as the 'pharmacy of the world'. This has been proven completely true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when 'India continued to produce and export critical life-saving medicines to the rest of the world', he added.

Launching the Annual Summit 2020 of industry body OPPI, Gowda also said that the contribution of Indian pharmaceutical sector has been reinforced during this pandemic year when the companies, global and Indian, stepped in and stepped up their efforts in the service of the country.

'With the urgent need to have a vaccine coming to haunt the countries, we have witnessed the scene of many Indian and global companies moving into the laboratories and forming collaborations. Some between Indian and global companies, some between companies and research institutes,' he added.

Many of these vaccine efforts are almost reaching fruition, and 'we are getting ready to have multiple vaccines in the next few weeks and months. Some Indian, some global', Gowda said.

It has been a commendable effort from all constituents of the industry, global companies, Indian companies, research institutes, government regulators and the hospitals that supported in the vaccine development and the clinical trials for the vaccine development, he added.

'I have no doubt to believe that these collaborations and the maturity demonstrated by the collaborations are going to define the Indian pharmaceutical sector in the years ahead,' Gowda said.

The minister also urged the pharma industry to develop and implement models to improve accessibility of low-cost healthcare for people in India and developing countries and said that it is good to hear that some of the companies that are involved in development of vaccines have announced affordable price for their vaccines.

During the event, Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Cipla Non-Executive Chairman Y.K. Hamied, and the Special Recognition Award was conferred on the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) V G Somani. PTI AKT MR MR