India, pharmacy of the world in LatAm, and future of pharma in the region

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Updated: Jul 07, 2020 2:33 PM

The documentary is based on the current Healthcare Crisis across the globe and how India is emerging as a solution provider for Life-saving Drugs, shares Shekhawat, avid traveller and photography and ex-banker by profession.

pharmacy of the world, india, healthcare, life saving drugs, covid 19, HCQ,Indian Pharma exportsThe documentary talks about the Government and Pharma companies safeguarding each other’s economical interest at the cost of the life of the people of the country

Good healthcare is your Right, irrespective of Financial condition reads the title of a recently released documentary by Virendra Shekhawat, Prayatnsheel E-venture Foundation, India. The documentary is based on the current Healthcare Crisis across the globe and how India is emerging as a solution provider for Life-saving Drugs, shares Shekhawat, avid traveller and photography and ex-banker by profession.

After working for 13 years in the Banking sector, he started Delhi Photography Club, for nurturing his hobby of photography. The club is now in its 10th year of Operations and Shekhawat has been helping hobbyist enthusiast, amateur photographers as well as beginners. He is also the founder and curator of Mandawa Art Village established in Rajasthan (which is also his native Village).

Shekhawat is not just a photographer but also a keen observer. During the global pandemic of COVID-19, India has been approached by all the big and small nations for HCQ. Several countries like the US, Brazil, France, Russia, Germany, Mexico, reached out to India seeking medicines like Paracetamol and other life-saving drugs. And to be precise at least in the last few months 30 counties have spoken to India.

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In an exclusive interview with Huma Siddiqui of Financial Express Online Virendra Shekhawat speaks on the idea behind the documentary and how India is the Pharmacy of the World. The cost of Treatment of Various diseases including — Breast Cancer, Cystic fibrosis, Prostate Cancer, COVID 19 in India and Latin America sometimes see a cost difference of up to 20 times. Excerpts of the interview:

What is the inspiration behind this Documentary?

It is inspired by the famous Documentary Fire in the Blood released in 2013 which covers the African story of AIDS medicines and how the drugs were made available to AIDS patients.

On the other hand, if we see the exports of India Pharma Companies to the US, the UK , Europe and the rest of the world it is around USD 20 Billion but if we see the share of Exports to Latin America it is merely USD one billion.

India is now being touted as the ‘Pharmacy of the World”. What are your thoughts?

Yes, absolutely. That is why all the big economies procure drugs from Indian Drug manufacturers. India is amongst one of the largest producers of Generic Drugs and is also amongst the largest Producers of Anti-RetroVirals. In 2003 when Cipla gave AIDS medicines to underdeveloped countries of Africa for very subsidised prices and few drugs for free as well.

What is the status of Indian Pharma exports to the region?

The documentary talks about the Government and Pharma companies safeguarding each other’s economical interest at the cost of the life of the people of the country. It also showcases the long-standing issue of price difference of drugs and treatment between India and Latin America wherein the economic condition of both, the regions are more or less the same.

On the other hand, it creates a huge market for Indian pharma companies who are already on the expansion spree because we have FDA approved drug manufacturing units which are already supplying to the developed nations including the US, UK and European countries.

Currently, the documentary is in English and soon the Spanish version will also be launched.

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