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Coronavirus and Pharmaceutical Industry

In a discussion two years ago, I said that if China and India embargoed raw materials for medicines (BBO) on Indonesia, the Indonesian pharmaceutical industry would only be able to survive for six months.

Oleh SAMPURNO
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Kompas/Priyombodo

Covid-19 Hand sanitizing liquid is bottled according to World Health Organization recommendations at the School of Pharmacy, University of Indonesia, Depok, West Java, on Wednesday (18/3/2020). The School of Pharmacy produces 500 liters of hand sanitizer per day to be used on the campus, including in the University of Indonesia hospital.

The Indonesian pharmaceutical industry has no resilience because it is highly dependent on the raw material for medicines from the two countries. Indonesia's BBO imports from China is 63 percent, India 23 percent, and the rest are from other countries.

The dependence is not only on active ingredients, but also excipients (supporting materials) for the manufacture of drugs. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused China and India to embargo BBO to Indonesia. The scarcity of BBO and supporting materials will have a multi-crisis impact on the national supply of medicines.

Editor: Syahnan Rangkuti
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