All non-essential healthcare services face a significant slowdown due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Pharos Research has reported.
In its latest healthcare and pharmaceuticals update, the group noted that revenues from outpatient clinics and elective surgeries will take a hit in light of lockdowns and fears over clinical visits.
In the meantime, hospitals are building up sufficient levels of medicine and supplies inventory.
The second quarter of the fiscal year is usually a weak time. This will ensure that even if the nationwide curfew and lockdowns continue, the quarter’s comparative weakness relative to previous years will soften the look of the weakness expected.
Private hospitals are not currently allowed to handle Covid-19 cases, although the Ministry of Health has called on private hospitals to seal off wards for the isolation of coronavirus patients, If cases come through as positive, they will be directed to these isolation facilities.
Pharmacies are also currently exempted from curfew restrictions. Pharmaceuticals companies have, on average, roughly 3-6 months of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) inventory. These companies have now been requested to have on hand a 6-months supply of medication for local use before exporting the remainder.
Manufactures and distributors are currently working with the Ministry of Health to meet local market demand and secure inventory levels.
APIs are usually imported from China, India, and Europe. Most producers reported securing high inventory of APIs in January 2020, when signs of possible supply interruptions started to arise in China.