Local manufacture of drugs, med equipment being considered

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ahead of 3rd wave: Kerala Health,Industries depts Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 17 (PTI) The Health and Industries departments in Kerala are exploring the possibilityof locally manufacturing medicines, safety kits and medical equipment in the state to ensure their adequate availability ahead of any third wave of COVID-19.

For this a committee of Principal Secretaries of both departments and the managing directors of Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd (KMSCL) and Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KSDPL) will be constituted, ministers of both the departments said in a release on Saturday.

It said that the joint meeting of state Health Minister Veena George and Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev was convened to ensure availability of safety kits, like gloves, masks and PPE, and medical equipment.

George, in the release, said it would be a great achievement to be able to domestically manufacture the safety and medical equipment required for the health sector as the second wave saw a shortage of many safety devices with many factories in other states being shutdown due to COVID-19.

She said the health sector was preparing itself for the third wave and that necessary medical and safety equipment must be provided in advance.

She further said if these equipment are made in Kerala, it would also help the domestic industries.

George said that if more of the necessary medicines could also be produced in the state, it would reduce the cost of procuring it from outside Kerala and would also benefit the health sector here.

Presently, on an average, only 10 per cent of the drugs required for the state are manufactured in Kerala and the remaining 90 per cent is bought by KMSCL from other states, she said in the release.

On this, Rajeev said, 'It is gratifying that the health department has come forward at a time when the industry is seriously considering manufacturing pharmaceuticals.' He also said that the Industries department was conducting a study on whether the state can produce the required drugs along with the COVID safety equipment and KSDPL was making good progress with regard to manufacturing of the medicines.

The Industries department is also going to launch a Medical Equipment and Devices Park for ensuring availability of medical equipment and devices, he said in the release.

'This will provide the necessary medical equipment and at the same time, ensure that quality is guaranteed,' he added.PTI HMP BN BALA BN BALA

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