Biocon Ltd. and Biocon Biologics have activated business continuity plans across their functions to prepare for unforeseen events in light of the evolving COVID-19 situation and to meet the needs of patients, partners, customers and other stakeholders who depend on our products.
As a global Company, we have presence across India, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe, U.S. and are adjusting our operations to fully comply with regulations issued by respective national governments. In India, home to the largest part of our workforce, the government announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, but permitted “essential services” such as manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to continue. Biocon will continue to operate essential pharmaceutical manufacturing in full compliance with government requirements.
Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, “As a globally recognized biopharmaceuticals company engaged in innovative science to develop new drugs and manufacturing life-saving therapies, we have a significant role to play in the global pharma ecosystem. At the same time, we also have a role to play in the national response to the COVID-19 threat. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a 21-day nationwide lockdown is a good move to stop social transmission of the novel coronavirus. We are supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to mitigate the disease. Now is not the time to step away from our duties but to step forward to play our part and serve the nation.”
Biocon and its subsidiary Biocon Biologics are fully supportive of the Indian government’s decision and is aligned with the authorities to address this national emergency. We had already created a task force to deal with this pandemic situation.
Since we are involved in manufacturing of essential drugs, we are assessing the impact of the lockdown on our ability to continue with manufacturing operations of essential pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and APIs in order to meet our commitments to patients, customers and partners.
While supply chain disruptions and impaired mobility due to lockdowns have a direct bearing on our operations, we are working to minimise disruption to production schedules and supply of drugs to our customers and partners.
We do anticipate delayed deliveries for some products due to partial shutdown and changes in production schedule and restriction of goods movement within and outside India. We are engaging with our vendors to secure supplies of various raw materials but they are also in a similar situation. The current inventory of most of our raw materials is estimated to last us for the next few months.
We are committed to patient safety for all clinical studies currently underway, and will continue to enable drug supply for ongoing clinical trials to ensure patients receive uninterrupted treatment and care as a part of the trials.
In line with our commitment to provide a safe working environment to our employees, we have significantly reduced the number of people in our facilities to only those who are required to carry out manufacturing and quality operations based on planned production schedules. All other employees are either staying back or are working remotely from home.
All necessary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help in ‘flattening of the curve’ have been taken. In addition to promoting good hygiene and introducing shift working and working from home, national and international business travel for our employees have been stopped and virtual meetings are encouraged, dining facilities have been segregated and seating density reduced, company transport has been scheduled to reduce the number of travellers per vehicle. A dedicated intranet site provides employees with important information related to COVID-19 guidelines and status updates.
These precautionary measures will remain in effect until April 15, 2020.
We remain committed to the health and safety of our employees and their families, as well as, business continuity to safeguard the interests of our patients, partners, customers and other stakeholders.