The Indonesian government has set pharmaceutical holding to find the source of raw material for the pharmaceutical industry in domestic - Photo by the Company

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Indonesian government has set pharmaceutical holding to find the source of raw material for the pharmaceutical industry in domestic that will reduce the country’ dependency on imports for medical raw materials now standing at 90 percent of its needs to 75 percent.

Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) pharmaceutical holding was officially formed on Jan. 31, 2020. It is a joint SOEs company including PT Bio Farma, PT Kimia Farma Tbk (IDX: KAEF) and PT Indofarma Tbk (IDX: INAF).

“After the consolidation our assets raised to Rp30.6 trillion (US$2.18 billion) and have a more capability to improve our businesses and efficiency,” CEO of Bio Farma, Honesti Basyir said at a press conference in Jakarta today (02/05).

High dependency on materials shipped from overseas has significantly hiked prices of the drug in the country. The director said that with more efforts focused on research and development, the country’s drug producers may boost the quality of their products.

Managing Director of Kimia Varma Verdi Budidarmo reminded that Indonesia requires a huge number of the raw materials along with sophisticated technology for developing the industry. Hence, Indonesia, home to over 250 million populations, will be a favorable investment ground and a huge market for the pharmaceutical industry.

Investment in research and development had been increased to find the substitute for the imported drug materials and boost the quality of products, said Maura Linda Sitanggang, director-general for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment of the health ministry days ago.

“The government is encouraging synergy between academics, business, and the government to produce raw materials in Indonesia to reduce dependency,” said Sitanggang, hoped the dependency could be reduced by 5 percent a year so that imports could be cut maximally.

One of the strategies for achieving the target is by producing medical raw materials from local natural resources such as medical herbs, Indofarma President Director Arief Pramuhanto said.

SOEs Minister Erick Thohir was encouraging the state pharmaceutical industry to conduct research aiming to find the vaccine against the new coronavirus that has emerged in China.

“We push for pharmaceutical firms such as Biofarma to immediately study the virus vaccine,” said the SOE Ministry’s special staffer Arya Sinulingga on Tuesday, called all parties are currently competing to do the research and looking for the cure to deal with the nCoV virus outbreak.

The SOE Ministry is also calling for state hospitals to anticipate patients suspected to be infected with the Wuhan virus. Medical centers are also demanded to be responsive in preventing the virus from Indonesia. One of the mitigation attempts is the establishment of the team tasked to quickly identify and anticipate the spread of the virus in all state hospitals.

Thohir also asked all hospitals to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and isolation room facilities for patients with symptoms of coronavirus infection.

Earlier Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto said that no country has issued a roadmap or guidelines in light of the virus outbreak thus far. All countries were still waiting and monitoring the effects of the virus and stepping up preventive strategy.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com