Published on 29 June 2020 by Anna Andriyanova
Hans Duijf: Crisis like this do push supply concerns across industries to the top of the agenda. For pharma even more so as so many people depend on their daily medication and for us in the case of insulin it should be taken quite literally that lives depend on uninterrupted supply to medication.
Before anything else, I feel it is important to say that we have managed well so far and are now very confident in the strength of our supply-chain globally and for our manufacturing site in Russia. Nobody with diabetes, obesity or the other serious chronic diseases we cover will be without their medication.
It has been hard work to secure continuous drug supply though. Similar to other countries across the globe there has been increased demand as governments, regions and patients have been keen to increase their safety stock-levels in case of an emergency situation. For the pharma supply-chain it is not so easy to respond overnight and increase output to satisfy the increased demand, but we have managed to fulfil this task. One the one hand this is clearly the responsibility of the industry to secure flexibility in managing and access capacity of the production, on the other hand I do feel it is important to highlight that this is not always achievable in the light of the continuous pricing pressure and it should be possible to resolve the cases like this in a dialogue with the authorities.
Beyond this, really, a big thank you to our Russian authorities whose initiatives in the current situation have helped us manage and secure supply. Today we witness a new level of cooperation and interaction between us, pharmaceutical companies, and regulatory bodies. A good example is that current GMP certificates were prolonged for the next 12 months without additional inspections of our foreign production sites. Another example is the introduction of distant inspections for the new products and manufacturing site registration.
On the topic of virtual, thinking around digitalisation has really made a jump. Also for the healthcare system it is not a thing of the future anymore, it is here today. For the chronic diseases we cover (diabetes and obesity) continuous monitoring of the patientis required – especially because these are some of the most vulnerable groups of our population at significantly increased risk of severe course of the COVID infection. It is obvious that with a lockdown and self-isolation going virtual really is the only way to deliver the quality of care required. It is critical to make telemedicine a reality in Russia and anchor the possibilities in relevant laws and develop the technical capabilities.
Finally, wishing all good health and good spirit, I know Novo Nordisk and our industry is here to support development of an efficient healthcare system and secure supply, even in the worst of crises.