Last Updated on July 6, 2021 by The Health Master
India’s first pharma PSU aims to manufacture medication for mild cases in next 3 months, reinvent its flagging status. India’s first public sector pharmaceutical company, Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL), is ready to perform its role in the pandemic.
The Pimpri-based drug manufacturing unit, set up in 1954, will produce oral medication to tackle mild COVID-19 cases in the next three months. The ailing public sector undertaking (PSU) says it is on the road to recovery and started two new plants on Friday.
HAL managing director Neerja Saraf said, “The decision to manufacture oral medication to tackle mild COVID-19 cases was taken in the HAL review board meeting, held in the plant with Union minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways, and chemicals and fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya, on Friday.”
Mandaviya also inaugurated a state-of the-art facility to manufacture alcoholic hand disinfectant and dry powder injectable during his visit. HAL is the only public sector enterprise with this facility in India.
Briefing about the board meeting, Saraf added, “It was very positive. HAL’s performance was reviewed, and future plans were also discussed. Our turnover target for the next financial year is Rs 200 crore.”
Commenting on the manufacturing of the injectable COVID-19 vaccine, Saraf added, “We are exploring the possibility of manufacturing an injectable COVID vaccine, but there is little hope as the HAL plant has an old set-up — for manufacturing, we will need an entirely new one.”
But on a more optimistic note, MP Manoj Kotak, president of HAL’s union — Hindustan Antibiotics Mazdoor Sangh — who was also present for the meeting, said, “The Union government is positive about manufacturing the COVID-19 injectable vaccine. It is willing to upgrade the HAL plant set-up for the same, with new machinery for production. We have asked the HAL management to send a detailed proposal of the equipment required to manufacture this vaccine and present it to the Union ministry.”
Kotak said that the issues of HAL workers were discussed in the meeting as the arrears are still pending.
Meanwhile, Bhosari Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mahesh Landge met with the ministry officials and submitted a letter to undertake initiatives to start vaccine production for public betterment.
Landge said, “The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) general body meeting unanimously approved of the proposal to provide Rs 25 crore in financial assistance for setting up production of the COVID-19 vaccine. We have demanded that workers be given their arrears as early as possible, and also that the age-old HA Colony located opposite the plant be repaired soon, as it is in a pathetic condition.”