What has the pandemic meant for leaders across industries? What has fundamentally changed for them?
Across the country as well as the entire world a major disruption has taken place. The industry and the academia both have faced the pandemic in their own ways. But one thing certain is that it has been a major learning experience for everyone.
The preparedness and response for disaster management as a continued and monitored activity across all industries is crucial. The leaders have also realized the importance of healthcare and human welfare budgets and support systems to be put in place to ensure sustainability and employee wellbeing.
While we may not have control over external factors leading to a disaster but what is important is to ensure good communication systems and decision-making mechanism and empowered teams to mitigate any impending crisis.
It is unfortunate that the world still is unable to rise above the blame game and getting political mileage out of a serious pandemic, and it will take a long time for us to do that, but what is most important is also to work towards making efforts to learn to live with this virus.
Continuing awareness drives about safety and following COVID protocols has to become an integral part of the system now. The world has to move on and citizens need to reboot their lives according to the new normal.
Fundamentally each leader has to accept that there is no certainty in the future. The situation is so rapidly changing at all times that it is impossible for anyone to predict much. Scientists are constantly flummoxed at the speed at which mutations are taking place. Hence, industry needs to spend money on research activities and invest wisely wherever require to build better and R&D facilities and encourage scientific research activities.
What are some of your boldest predictions for the industry over the next ten years?
The next 10 years may see a massive increase in AI and Machine Learning technology. It has already gained enough momentum but we may be surprised at to what levels it may take over our lives in future.
Corporate work culture to a large extent has become hybrid and will keep getting more so with flexible working hours and working from any locations as long as they deliver their KRAs.
The upcoming employees will definitely be handling multiple careers catering to their various skills and abilities and may not just be confined to one job at a time.
The environment and its cause will be in focus and the responsibility will definitely be taken over by the next generation of employable youth who will have an empathetic approach and practice conscious living. Conservation efforts will be the focus for them and not just earning a living at the cost of sacrificing the environment.
Gates Foundation boosts access to Covid-19 drug for lower-income countries
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged up to $120 million as part of its Covid-19 response effort to help lower-income countries gain access to the investigational antiviral medication Molnupiravir, which some say might be a gamechanger.
The Gates Foundation’s co-chair, Melinda Gates, said: “To put an end to the pandemic, we must ensure that everyone has access to life-saving health services, regardless of where they live on the planet. Low-income countries, on the other hand, have had to wait for everything from personal protective equipment to vaccinations. That’s not good enough.”
Concerned about lower-income countries’ struggles to access Covid-19 vaccinations and the risk of being left behind once again when it comes to medicines, the Gates Foundation is urging other donors to commit money to hasten the implementation of Merck’s experimental drug Molnupiravir, if it is approved.
Merck expects trial tablets fto reach low-income countries by early next year. Regulatory authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments are in charge of deciding whether or not to approve the drug for usage. The Gates organization said it aims to significantly reduce the time it takes for new drugs to arrive in low-income regions after they become available in wealthier markets. That gap can be at least 12 months, it said.
The organization has already granted money to assist generics firms in developing low-cost production procedures that lower raw material costs and boost product yields. Some wealthy and middle-income countries, such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, have either obtained or are in the process of obtaining the therapy.
The right pricing will be crucial for the launch of Zydus Cadila’s vaccine.
The destiny of Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine is in doubt, as the vaccine’s price appears to be delaying its introduction into the vaccination program. The business has received emergency use authorization from the FDA to inject its Covid vaccine, ZyCoV-D, to children aged 12 to 18.
Zydus Cadila, located in Ahmedabad, has imported the pharmaJet, a needle-free applicator for painless intradermal vaccine delivery.
Each jet is responsible for delivering a specific amount of vaccination.
As a result, a single dose is split into two shots, one for each arm. “It’s an expensive device and hence jacks up the overall price,” a government official said.
Around 20,000 dosages can be administered with the jet injector.
The government has been purchasing Covaxin at 225 per dosage and Covishield, another Covid vaccine developed in India, at 215 per dose.
The price of the Zydus Cadila vaccine, according to Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, will be significantly more than that of existing vaccines.
The next wave of healthcare innovation
Healthcare industry is currently one of the leaders in this race of startups. From Practo to Netmeds, India has seen companies go progress exponentially.
Launched in March 2021, Know Your Prescription (KYP) is a patient-centric product that explains the prescription and addresses general, treatment-related queries in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, and Malayalam.
KYP assists in the understanding of medical prescriptions. All a patient has to do is visit the AI-enabled portal (QR code), which, after proper diligence, connects them to a WhatsApp number. They are paired with pharmacists or retired medical professionals in order to fully comprehend what their prescription entails. This reduces medication errors while also improving patient compliance and adherence.
The product is specially designed keeping the general population in mind, and the startup is eyeing a pan-India audience “with a major focus on Tier II and III cities”.
The Delhi-based startup, with a team size of 12, has also signed a three-year contract with Centre for Sight, which is one of the largest chains in India with more than 47 centres.
It hopes to develop an app soon that will allow users to submit their questions, as well as onboard qualified pharmacists and doctors to assist them.
As of now, KYP has over 5,000 unique paid clients. By Diwali, SiCureMi intends to implement a Rs 299 yearly membership scheme. Users will be able to upload prescriptions an unlimited number of times as a result of this.
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