Responding with agility to the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the world we live in. Within months, national lockdowns, business closures and social distancing measures had changed life as we knew it, while a novel coronavirus ravaged even the furthest corners of global society. We had to adapt to this new, fast-paced and ever-evolving environment. This meant we needed an unprecedented drive in innovation across the globe; one that was only possible through tireless collaboration. In India, we stood strong alongside our nation to ensure uninterrupted supply of life saving medicines to our fellow citizens.

As our nation incessantly fought the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Roche Pharma India stood committed to delivering life-saving treatments to patients in India. Roche Pharma India donated INR 40+ crores worth of Tocilizumab to India. Fifty thousand vials of Tocilizumab (Brand: Actemra) 80 mg were donated to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to help patients during the pandemic. The supplies reached India on 11 May 2021. Here are some visuals of the consignment arriving in India.

With the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in India, Roche remained committed to doing everything to minimize hospitalisations and ease pressure on healthcare systems. This is where our neutralizing antibody cocktails played a major role in the fight against COVID-19. Roche Pharma India received an Emergency Use Authorization for its investigational Antibody Cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) to be used in the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in high-risk patients before their condition worsens.

Besides the unprecedented speed of approval, the regulator approved our recommendation to use the 1200 mg strength (a lower dose) through intravenous infusion as well as subcutaneous route of administration, a first in the world! After getting the EUA, we quickly completed all other formalities to make the product available in India within 28 days from the decision to go for filing. No product has ever been launched in India in such an accelerated timeline. Allocation of 100,000 packs (potentially 200,000 doses) with delivery of the first lot in less than three weeks of order confirmation demonstrated the urgency with which we acted. On 25 May 2021, an 84 year old male citizen from Haryana became the first patient in India to get this antibody cocktail and since then thousands across the country have availed its benefits…more than 80,000 patients to be precise!

When our country was grappling with a shortage in critical drug supplies and an unprecedented strain on healthcare infrastructure; we increased supplies of Tocilizumab by over 2000% of regular supplies. This massive feat was achieved through a seamless collaboration across global functions like manufacturing, supply chain, quality assurance to name a few. Roche Pharma India was able to successfully leverage its global network to make this life saving drug available on time, in full to our nation.

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