COVID-19 Impact on Additive Manufacturing in Pharmaceutical Industry
The outbreak of Coronavirus has caused many industries to change the way they operate, and manufacturing industry is no exception. Also, the rise in demand of antiviral drugs was observed along with decrease in demand of drugs for other ailments.
The European Fine Chemical Group estimated that 80% and upward of chemicals used in the making pharmaceuticals sold in the Europe region originate from China and India. Everyday millions of patients rely on drugs manufactured and supplied by pharmaceutical industries; shortage of any particular medicine may create chaos. Manufacturers served throughout the pandemic and are still operating to prevent such turmoil.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The Coronavirus led to the widespread closure of local manufacturing plants and companies and has badly affected the various region of world. Due to extensive lockdown and isolation the economic activity has affected adversely which has impacted the global economic activity.
Manufacturers began to diversify sourcing of raw materials along with investment in spreading production in different regional markets instead of concentrated markets such as India and China. Likely to be long term effect is reindustrialization of pharmaceutical production in countries such as the United States and Europe in order to minimize dependency on imported products, this would lead to rise in demand of additives in above mentioned countries.
Moreover the increasing cases of COVID-19 have also paved the way for enhanced demand of additives but due to movement restrictions same decrease in sales was recorded.
· In January 2021, BASF SE had no indication of any major effect on the global activities and supply chain of our BASF Nutrition & Health sector comprising of BASF Pharma Solutions, BASF Animal Nutrition, BASF Human Nutrition, BASF Enzymes and BASF Fragrance Ingredients owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
· In 2020, DuPont de Nemours, Inc. recorded decrease in earning of excipients sales, which belonged to Nutrition and Biosciences segment.
This thus signifies that increasing prevalence of COVID-19 poses a life threatening effect to various types of patients already suffering from several kinds of disease among the most recent known COVID-19 pandemic. Thus the demand of effective treatment option that is antiviral drug has enhanced the supply for short term. This thus demonstrates that COVID-19 is accelerating the demand of additive market.
Throughout year 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic turmoil globally, the pharmaceutical industry in particular had to adapt quickly to minimize the impact on its operations and supply chain of drugs worldwide. Raw materials and additives rates have increased due to reduced supplies and delayed manufacturing plans, and shut downs in some countries.
The price of additives and raw materials has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to numerous air travel restrictions and inefficiency to supply products.
· The shortage has begun to affect API and bulk prices in trades, the average increase in India was reported to be about 10-15%, and is estimated to reach 50% in some cases.
· WACKER Chemie AG a Germany based company is about to raise its prices for dispersions and solid resins in Europe, Africa and Middle East region stating that this measure has been necessitated by rise in price of raw materials cost in market.
· The Edelweiss Securities predicted that COVID-19 pandemic would cause severe supply disruptions in pharma sectors causing earing cuts by 15%. But globally pharma companies are performing well, in short term most companies are expected to bounce back in five years.
This thus signifies that due to COVID-19 pandemic the price of additives used in pharmaceutical productions have increased due to Coronavirus outspread.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY
As COVID-19 spreading began in China the surge of medicines has been enhanced due to increasing patient’s volume which put a pressure over the supply of pharmaceutical additives. Moreover the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business environment for more organizations across the globe. Around the world many companies are hugely reliant on supplies and production in China.
However the market players are adopting several initiatives in order to maintain a continuous supply of additives.
· As per the news of September, 2020 this has been suggested that Sandoz is working closely with the Association for Accessible Medicines in order to enhance the global pharmaceutical supply chain.
· In 2020, Ashland which is an essential supplier, their supply chain continued to operate safely receive, process and ship specialty products during COVID-19.
· As per November 2020 Merck KGaA a company specialized in additives and chemicals stated that it continued to leverage their business continuity plans including risk mitigation activities, accelerated investments and adjusted production schedules for few high demand products.
· According to the news of March 2020, Roquette Frères stated that they are working in order to minimize the COVID-19 impact on its supply chain.
· As per February 2020, FDA closely monitored supply chain with the possibility of potential disruptions in supply of critical medical products in the U.S. Manufacturers alerted FDA about recently added drugs in drugs shortage list.
· DFE Pharma claims that their continued production and supply during the pandemic was not affected in Netherlands, India, Germany and New Zealand. Apparently due to COVID-19 effects on global transport industry the shipping companies are charging more than usual.
This suggests that increasing prevalence of COVID-19 poses threat for maintaining a continuous supply chain of additives while initiative adopted by market players allows them to manage a continuous supply chain.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS OF MANUFACTURERS
Additive manufacturing companies are taking so many strategic decisions in order to cope up with the current scenario of COVID-19 pandemic. The companies engaged in manufacturing of additive manufacturers are collaborating so as to accelerate the market growth. Companies have already taken several kinds of strategic initiatives in order to cope up with the Coronavirus situation.
Strategic initiatives by market players such as Dow, Ashland, Kerry, BASF SE among others in the market will help them to expand their network and supply chain. This in turn will lead to increasing product sales and hence will enhance the overall company’s revenue.
· In May 2020, Dow during the COVID-19 pandemic was working closely with government officials and medical professionals, using guidance to adjust plans as warranted.
· In April 2020, the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published guidelines on Exceptional GMP flexibilities which allow manufacturers to increase their production capability to minimize risk of product shortage using quality risk management principles and to navigate through international travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.
· In April 2020, Lubrizol enabled 1 Billion bottles of hand sanitizer globally every month to increase its Carbopol polymer production, which is used as a thickener.
The increasing demand and sales of antiviral drugs are fuelling the growth of additive manufacturing in pharmaceutical market.
Thus, companies operating in the additive manufacturing in pharmaceutical market are adopting several strategies, including agreements, market expansion to enhance their business. These strategic decisions by the market players helped them to attain a lucrative growth even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in several restrictions throughout the borders but still manufacturers of additive manufacturing in pharmaceutical are able to manage their stocks. The demand and supply of pharmaceutical products increased rapidly due to given medical emergency.
Drug shortage caused due to the pandemic is expected to remain limited this way for a short period, also if the pandemic exceeds the shortage of pharmaceutical APIs, chemicals and additives may persist on causing shortage of supply in long run. This would also effect complications in distribution especially due to population movement restrictions across the globe.
Various manufacturers are continuously engaging in constantly monitoring the supply chain so as to attain a lucrative growth. The activities and certain changes from COVID-19 would reduce dependency of private pharmaceuticals on alone suppliers such as China.