While the raw materials were being processed, the demand increased by eight to twelve times.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said demand for COVID-19 therapeutic drugs increased in July 2021, along with a spike in COVID-19 cases .

"The rise in demand led to an increase in imported raw materials, which was approximately four times. While the raw materials were being processed, the demand increased by eight to twelve times," he said at an online press conference originating from Jakarta on Monday.

According to data from the ministry, in June 2021, the demand for therapeutic drugs rose four fold, along with the rise in the COVID-19 infection rate, he informed.

Meanwhile, the demand jumped twelvefold on July 15, 2021 and gradually declined to eightfold at the end of July, he added.

According to the minister, national pharmaceutical companies have not been able to keep up with the escalating demand.

He informed that it took four to six weeks to import raw materials, process them into drugs, and distribute the drugs to pharmacies and health facilities.

"We had also tried to import the finished products. However, it also took time," he added.

Currently, COVID-19 therapeutic medicines produced by joint Indonesian pharmaceutical corporations have started to be distributed to various pharmacies, Sadikin said.

In addition, three COVID-19 drugs arrived in the first week of August, 2021 -- 1,173,919 doses of Remdesivir; 115,594 doses of Tocilizumab 400 mg/20 ml; and, 286,921 doses of IVig 50 ml, he informed.

The Health Ministry is also collaborating with hospitals to conduct clinical trials of several domestically produced COVID-19 therapeutic medicines, he added.

“Hopefully, we will be able to suppress the demand for expensive imported medicines,” he said.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Suharto
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