COVID 19: Two words that have devastated humanity for close to 9 months now. The virus which spread exponentially from the food markets of Wuhan in China has now taken shape as the biggest crisis that humanity has ever faced. A virus that is susceptible to community spreading through droplets and close contamination, COVID has brought about massive changes in the working condition of countries and governments.
Scientists all across the globe are working out ways to find a suitable antigen or vaccine for the virus. This for now containing human interaction by announcing curfew-like lockdown measures and encouraging people to stay in a controlled environment secluded from social communication is perhaps the only way to restrain the spread of this virus.
The positive news for those who are involved in this particular sector is that COVID 19 has kept the pharmaceutical industry practically less untouched than some other basic sectors of the economy. Due to the initial disruption in supply, the sector suffered a contraction in share of 50%. But since then the sector has recovered with aplomb posting growth estimates there are estimates ranging around 60-80% of Pre COVID sentiment. The industry is expected to progress at a brisk pace and look for expansion at around 3-5%.
Due to the ensuing lockdown measures, industries have been impacted to a considerable degree. Manufacturing and Construction have suffered in the light of inadequate labor force while Food and Beverage have spiraled to the absolute bottom with consumers very conservative about buying any sort of readymade products. However, one industry that has risen through this pile of dead bodies is Pharma and Healthcare.
The pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry has suffered tender contractions through this duration. But it has not been as impacted as its counterparts. Medicine supply during the time of lockdown was made an emergency service facility. Moreover, the only solution to develop a resolute vaccine that is capable of fighting against the virus is only possible when healthcare opportunities for the patients are commendable.
Laboratories and Scientific Research Equipment sourcing has been made to remain open even during this hour of the Pandemic, ensuring there is a constant inelasticity on-demand in the consumption pattern of the services by the consumers.
Secondly, the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors have grown due to the government interventions in restricting the already sanctioned trade barriers and lessening the amount of the import tariffs that are crucial behind the movement of the medicines from part of the country to another or in relation to inter-country travel.
When the lockdown was initially imposed upon, there were numerous restrictions in the supply criteria of the medicinal goods. However, with the easing of the lockdown, transportation was back to normal and this ensured the smooth supply of drugs and other patient care products like Ventilators, oximeters, Personal Protective Equipment Kits (PPE), and sanitization instruments.
The fact that COVID 19 had assumed the preliminary amount of importance. Patients suffering from other chronic diseases like back pain, arthritis, and gout have refrained from going to the clinics for their annual check-ups. A preconceived notion that there is an increase in the chances of contraction upon a visit to the clinics has made the patients even more conservative. Moreover, investor sentiment is at an all-time low.
People have become very skeptical and do not intend to liquidate their funds as of yet and regulate them through some active way of doing business. This has delayed the launch of many new pharmaceutical companies, which wouldn't just have reduced this increasing cluster of an oligopolistic market but would have brought about a fair of market share in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sector. Companies like Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, and Zydus Cadila have truly attained the status of monopoly markets in their respective fields.
It is still clearly unknown when we will be relieved from this diabolical mess called COVID 19. We still don't know how many more lives it will take and how many economic fatalities will it be responsible for. However, what we do know is that one industry that will emerge stronger from the crisis and become the darling of any country's growth indicator is the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry.