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Bhagwant Khuba led Indian Delegation Participates in World Local Production Forum in Netherlands

The participation of the Indian delegation in the World Local Production Forum underscores India's commitment to global health and its efforts to contribute to the accessibility of vital healthcare solutions on the international stage.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bhagwant Khuba led Indian Delegation Participates in World Local Production Forum in Netherlands (Photo Source: @PibMinistry)
Bhagwant Khuba led Indian Delegation Participates in World Local Production Forum in Netherlands (Photo Source: @PibMinistry)

A high-level Indian delegation led by Bhagwant Khuba, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, took part in the Second World Local Production Forum (WLPF) held in The Hague, Netherlands. The three-day event, running from November 6 to 8, 2023, was organized by the World Local Production Platform, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the primary objective of enhancing global access to medicines and other health technologies.

In his address at the forum, Khuba emphasized the significance of sharing experiences, challenges, and successes in the development and manufacturing of diagnostic countermeasures. He stressed the need for international collaboration to identify innovative approaches that can ensure sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare tools.

Khuba noted that the 21st century has witnessed numerous epidemics and pandemics, such as the pandemic crisis, which exposed vulnerabilities in the global supply chain and disparities in accessing quality medical countermeasures. The inadequacy of diagnostic tools exacerbated outbreaks, underscoring the necessity for enhanced cooperation to ensure sustainable and affordable diagnostic countermeasures, thus improving global access. Countries worldwide have recognized the importance of multi-sector collaboration in providing innovative solutions and achieving equity in healthcare.

Highlighting India's significant role in global healthcare, Khuba lauded the Indian pharmaceutical industry, one of the largest globally, which has earned India the moniker "Pharmacy of the World." Indian pharmaceutical companies have become reliable and cost-effective suppliers of high-quality drugs, substantially enhancing healthcare access worldwide.

He pointed out that India is responsible for approximately 60% of the global vaccine supply, accounts for 20-22% of generic exports, and serves over 200 countries through its pharmaceutical exports. Several Indian organizations have played a pivotal role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, creating an environment for innovative solutions that ultimately boost the healthcare sector. Mr Khuba highlighted the government's commitment to supporting innovation, stating that it provides funding, mentoring, incubation space, etc., and acts as a bridge between academia and industry to ensure the timely translation of innovations into commercial ventures.

Moreover, the Minister pointed out the challenges faced by local production in translating research into product development. Technology transfer, validation, production, and distribution were identified as significant barriers requiring efficient coordination to bring innovative healthcare technologies to market.

Capacity building in regulatory systems and skilled technical manpower was deemed essential, and the Forum's focus should be on marketing, upscaling regional manufacturing, efficient procurement and delivery systems, and repurposing existing infrastructure for efficient coordination during health emergencies. Lastly, Khuba stressed the importance of last-mile delivery to ensure that the benefits of innovations reach those who need them most, guaranteeing equitable access to essential healthcare products.

During his visit, Minister Khuba also met with Dr. Amar N. Ramadhin, the Minister of Public Health of Surinam, to discuss matters related to quality healthcare. Additionally, he participated in the Kannada Rajyotsava 2023 Celebrations of gandha Holland Kannada Balaga in Eindhoven.

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