The world has changed significantly with the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19), and the pandemic is having significant repercussions globally.
World leaders have announced various restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19 and to help ensure that our healthcare system isn't overburdened.
At Cipla, we're also investigating ways to help #flattenthecurve and constantly monitoring this situation to make decisions that are in the best interests of our staff, our customers, our business partners and our respective communities. We are following recommendations from the World Health Organisation, the Department of Health and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
We are also assessing risk to ensure stock of critical medication such as antiretrovirals, oncology treatment and other non-communicable diseases to deliver on our commitment of caring for life.
Cipla has conducted a comprehensive review of our supply chain to identify any risks with regards to the availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and finished goods. There is no immediate impact on our portfolio, but we're continually monitoring developments, and closely collaborating with our international suppliers. We're taking precautionary measures and requisitioning surplus stock in product categories that could come under pressure if the situation persists for an extended period.
We're also engaging with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to implement proactive projects to ensure access of immune-boosting vitamins, antipyretics, antivirals and antibiotics. We will maintain this momentum in our response to the pandemic.
We are aware that antiretrovirals - the combination of lopinavir/ritonavir - were tested to combat severe cases of Covid-19. As a result of these reports, we have experienced an increased demand for this medicine and we've balanced this with the treatment needs of people living with HIV.
Despite this pandemic, we still value the role of medical representatives as critical to conveying important business and product-related information to our relevant stakeholders. However, because of the social distancing requirements, our medical representatives will be working from home for a while. Although they will no longer be calling on healthcare professionals, please note that they are available electronically should you have any questions.
As our valued partners, you play a critical role in healthcare delivery in South Africa and can, therefore, help to make a significant difference during this time. Cipla respects and salutes your valuable contribution. You have our unwavering support as we unite to share knowledge, find innovative solutions and work towards a common purpose of saving lives during this crisis.
The company remains committed to its mission of providing affordable medicines to all South Africans, manufactured in line with the highest possible standards of quality. We're taking every precaution to ensure continuity of supply of all our medicines (especially those required in response to the pandemic).
We will communicate with you as the situation evolves and will inform you timeously should any challenges arise.
As with any crisis, opportunity co-exists. This unprecedented time is an opportunity to recalibrate, to reconnect with our loved ones and to find innovative new ways of doing things. We look forward to making the best of these changes and navigating this new normal together.
Please practice social distancing and remember to remain vigilant.
Executive Vice President
Chief Executive Officer SA and MD SAGA