COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Local Anesthetic in Healthcare Industry

  • Healthcare
  • Dec 21, 2021

COVID-19 Impact on Local Anesthetic in Healthcare Industry

OVERVIEW

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a complex challenge in front of several healthcare companies and proved to be an unprecedented global health threat. This global pandemic emerged in December 2019, which was established to be a global pandemic by WHO in March 2020.  With the development and introduction of novel coronavirus vaccine, COVID cases have been declined, but with the growth of mutant coronavirus strain, the overall COVID cases have been surged. They are increasing at a rapid rate in India, and the U.K, and other European countries. 
The most common symptoms associated with this include cough, fever, diarrhea, sore throat, and loss of smell or taste. Patients affected with COVID 19 are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, so surgical procedures as the proper oxygen are not supplied to the organs. 
As per the studies conducted, the number of surgical procedures requiring post-operative pain relief has been reported.  The lifetime prevalence of surgical procedures was 1.77% among children, 12.6% among adult males, and 15.8% among adult females (p < 0.001). The number of surgical procedure increased rapidly in the onset of the first COVID-19 wave in March 2020 but recovered in May and June, after which the surgery incidence was 22% higher than in the reference years and remained at this level until the end of the year. In May 2020 and after that until November, waiting times for surgery at hospitals were longer, with monthly increases varying between 7% and 34%. In gastrointestinal and genitourinary diseases and neoplasms, waiting times were longer in 2020 or, in other words, have more minor surgical procedures. In cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders, waiting times were shorter in 2020 or had more cases of surgery.

Impact Of Covid-19 Article On Global Local Anesthetics

Impact Of Covid-19 Article On Global Local Anesthetics

Local Anesthetic

Local Anesthetics are the drugs used for the treatment of painful conditions, prevent pain during procedures or operations, or relieve pain after surgery. They are generally safer, don’t usually require any special preparation before they are used, and patients can recover from them quickly as they numb the specific area where surgical procedures need to be done. Local anesthetic stops the nerve conduction in part, so signals is not sent to the brain. All the local anesthetics drugs are “Schedule-H” drugs, so they have to be purchased only after the prescription of doctors or healthcare professionals. Sometimes local anesthetics are also needed in slightly painful conditions like Mouth ulcers and sore throats, so they are also present in the over-the-counter medications. Local anesthetics are generally very safe, and serious problems are rare, but patients can feel discomfort when the injection is given, tingling sensation as the medicine wears wearing off, dizziness, and headaches—for example, Cocaine, Lidocaine, Etidocaine, Mepivacaine, etc.

PRICE IMPACT:

As Pain is a symptom of release of prostaglandins, and the most commonly prescribed drug indicated for their treatment is local anesthetics. With the sudden increase in COVID 19 cases, the people concerns for their better health has also increased. Majorly patients suffering from respiratory illness infections including pneumonia among others are at higher risk of developing COVID 19 infections hence have started to take proper precautions in order to lead a healthy life. 
As India relies on China for 70% of drug intermediates and bulk drugs, COVID -19 is expected to hike the price of the medicines used for Vasoconstriction purpose.
For instance,
•    According to Clinicalc. Com the price of local anesthetic drug in 2019 is less and in 2020 its price is increased

Drugs

2019

2020

Lidocaine

118.11

256.41

This thus signifies that COVID 19 pandemic has led to increase in the cost of local anesthetic with good difference of 138.3.

IMPACT ON DEMAND

The coronavirus has affected the various regions of the world and caused widespread closure of companies and local manufacturing plants. This lockdown and isolation had adversely impacted global economic activity. As the patients are afraid of getting infected and transportation facilities are drastically disrupted, the demand for local anesthetic drugs are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to covid-19, social distancing increases, and a smaller number of patients visit the cancer centers, which delays in elective surgeries. As a result, the demand for online delivery of drugs is increasing.
This suggests that the increasing prevalence of COVID 19 cases is not related to local anesthetic but decrease the surgical procedures. This thus signifies that COVID 19 is decreasing the demand of the local anesthetic market.

IMPACT ON SUPPLY

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected and badly disrupted the global drug supply chain due to the continuous shut down of manufacturing facilities and restrictions imposed by the government over the import and export activities. Due to such wide shutdown of manufacturing facilities, the vasoconstrictor drug manufacturing has badly affected.
For instance:
•    As per the FDA the shortage in vasoconstrictor drug is majorly due to quality issues associated with manufacturing facilities. 
•    As Pfizer is continuously providing the manufacturing and supply chain over the different regions by increasing production, shifted demand to most critical products, and allowed overtime to meet the patient needs. They also implemented the increased demand monitoring and order management process and teaches a heightened logistics control program to ensure that products get to their customers.

Due to the pertinacious COVID 19 lockdown, sanctions have been imposed by governments of various countries. These restrictions and barriers across countries borders led to a decrease in the supply of APIs needed for drug manufacturing and raw materials required for manufacturing of devices including insulin pumps. Lack of updates to routine operations maintaining the local anesthetic drugs manufacturing during the COVID 19 led to shortage of high quality local anesthetic drugs manufacturing and impacted the overall supply of these local anesthetic drugs indicated for surgical procedures or pain relief conditions. 
However, to deal with current scenario of local anesthetic drug supply shortage FDA and International Council for Harmonization (ICH) have issued guidelines to improve the quality controls and to boost up the productions. 
This, thus, signifies that due to continuous lockdown and several restrictions by government authorities, the companies and patients are facing disruption of supply chain for local anesthetic drugs indicated for the treatment of pain in surgical procedures. 

STRATEGIC DECISIONS OF MANUFACTURERS

Collaboration, agreements, strategic initiatives by market players such as Pfizer Inc., Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark Pharmaceutical Inc., Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Septodent, among others in the local anesthetic market will help them to expand their product portfolio and to provide with appropriate local anesthetics among others to physicians and patients. This, in turn will lead to increased product sales and hence will put a positive impact on overall company’s revenue.
Pain relief treatment drugs manufacturing companies are taking so many strategic decisions to cope with the current COVID 19. The companies engaged in manufacturing of pain relief treatment drugs are adopting several initiatives so as to accelerate the development of local anesthetic medicines and efficiently supply the drugs to different end users. 
Companies have already taken several kinds of strategic initiatives in order to cope up with the corona virus situation. For instance,
•    In 2018, Alembic Pharma gets the USFDA Approval for the “Aleor Dermaceuticals” a Xylocaine ointment which contains Xylocaine as a local anesthetic.
Thus, companies operating in the local anesthetic drugs market are adopting several strategies, including collaboration, agreements, acquisition, and market expansion to enhance their business. These strategic decisions by the companies are expected to provide significant opportunities for the market players operating in the local anesthetic market. 

CONCLUSION

As the pandemic of COVID 19 has resulted in several restrictions throughout the borders but still manufacturers of local anesthetic drugs are able to manage their stocks. Various manufacturers have allowed their manufacturers to work in a clean and safe environment so as to boost up the production of local anesthetic drugs at various manufacturing facilities across several regions of world helping them to maintain continuous supply chain. However, introduction of mutant corona strain has worsened the situation and affecting the several industries worldwide which is compensated by raising price of local anesthetic drugs. By raising the prices the companies are gaining extra profit which is helping them to combat the negative effect on overall revenue.