Ferring Pharmaceuticals and the Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) on Tuesday launched a new call to action, ‘For Every Mother in India’, at the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi.
According to the pharmaceutical company, the ‘For Every Mother in India’ campaign aims to mobilise a wide set of stakeholders across India, including policymakers, government agencies, development partners, academia, medical experts and civil society, in a collective push to end preventable maternal deaths.
The move is a part of Ferring’s #ProjectFamily: Safe Birth commitment to protect the lives of 20 million women and their families globally by 2030 through sustainable access to room temperature stable (RTS) carbetocin – a treatment used to prevent excessive bleeding after childbirth, or postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) – a leading cause of maternal deaths.
Last year, India became the first country in the world to receive carbetocin as a treatment for postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) among mothers after giving birth to their children. The event was marked by the presence of Dr. Olivier Fink, Minister, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg of Denmark, and Board Member of Ferring, Per Falk, President of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Dr. S. Shantha Kumari, President of Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Dr. Bulbul Sood, Senior Regional Strategic Advisor, Jhpiego among others.
According to the biopharmaceutical company, Ferring and key partners are working to secure additional registrations and to bring Carbetocin RTS to the public health sector of all low- and lower-middle income countries, where the burden of maternal mortality and cases of PPH are greatest.
On the performance of Carbotecin in India so far, Sudheendra Kulkarni, CEO, Ferring Pharmaceuticals India told Financial Express.com: “So there are two parts, one is the business aspect of it and another is helping save mothers’ lives. I think in the last one year we have made tremendous progress in terms of ensuring the proper availability of this drug. We are dealing with the private sector and we are also now dealing with the public sector. We are pleased with the kind of response from the gynaecologists as the drug is actually helping the patients.”
The CEO of Ferring Pharmaceuticals India told Financial Express.com that the price of this drug is almost similar to the price of oxytocin which is approximately Rs. 29 in the public sector and around Rs. 450-500 in the private sector. Meanwhile, Misoprostol from Pfizer cost around Rs. 70. However, the CEO told Financial Express.com that the biggest benefit of Carbetocin is that it is heat-stable and it doesn’t need cold-chain storage like other drugs.
According to the Registrar General of India report, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of India has declined by 10 points, from 113 in 2016-18 to 103 in 2017-19. Although, the country has been witnessing a progressive reduction in the MMR from 130 in 2014-2016, 122 in 2015-17, 113 in 2016-18, and 103 in 2017-19, MMR in 448 of India’s 640 districts is higher than SDG 3.1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, By 2030, the maternal mortality ratio needs to be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
“While 7 states in India have reduced their maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 births and 11 states have maternal mortality rates of less than 100 per 100,000 births, it is disheartening to see that every hour, 4 women die giving birth. At Ferring, we are working with partners to enable every state in India to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 and prevent these often avoidable deaths,” Per Falk, President of Ferring Pharmaceuticals said during the event on Tuesday.