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95 percent of pharma industry concerned about COVID-19 impact, finds survey

The survey indicates that almost all respondents were concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on company performance, including supply and demand failures.

map of coronavirus infection outbreaks

Map of global COVID-19 infections.

A survey of healthcare industry professionals revealed 95 percent are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on company performance, with those from the Asian Pacific market expressing the highest levels of concern.

GlobalData’s report indicated that 23 percent were also concerned about supply and demand gaps tied to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData, commented: “Drug discovery and manufacturing has traditionally been a global effort with China and India establishing themselves as main players in the global pharmaceutical supply chain. Since the surge of coronavirus cases in Wuhan, the pharmaceutical industry became worried that the decreased Chinese production capabilities would result in drug shortages – once again reiterating the global economy’s dependence on China.”

Initially the coronavirus was expected to hit the Asian markets the hardest; however, this is now changing, as China’s aggressive virus control strategies seem to have worked and India has a low case load, while the rest of the world is reporting more cases of infection.

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in stock market turbulence, strict border controls and country-wide lockdowns, all taking their toll on the pharmaceutical sector and leading industry and governments to rethink drug supply chains.

Jakimaviciute continued: “While most pharmaceutical factories in China resumed their production lines, the pharma industry’s concerns are heightened by countries such as India restricting the export of dozens of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the medicines made from them, the UK banning the parallel export of more than 80 drugs to protect supplies during the coronavirus outbreak and the US and the EU looking into bringing manufacturing back to their soils.

“With the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) downgrading it’s global growth forecast in the beginning of March, it is clear that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on economies is going to be severe. However, as the spread of the coronavirus continues, what will come in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak is yet unknown. It may take years before the full global impact of the coronavirus is understood and measured.”

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