China work at full steam to boost medicine supply for epidemic control

To ensure an ample supply of anti-epidemic medicine, all-out measures are now in place to ramp up medicine production and facilitate distribution.

To ensure an ample supply of anti-epidemic medicine, all-out measures are now in place to ramp up medicine production and facilitate distribution.

At Hebei Dongfeng Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., production lines are running at full capacity to produce analgesics, antipyretics, and other over-the-counter medicine treating COVID-19 symptoms. Among them, the daily production capacity of ibuprofen stands at 1.5 million tablets, which can meet the daily consumption of 300,000 people.

In Shenyang, the capital of northeastern Liaoning Province, Northeast Pharm is working around the clock to churn out paracetamol tablets.

The products sell for 0.1 yuan (around 0.014 US dollars) per tablet. The surprisingly low price of this medication has made the company go viral online.

"It is the enterprises of great social responsibility that have made medicines accessible and affordable to people in desperate need. We all owe them many thanks," Sina Weibo user "Xuanhuai" wrote in a comment.

There are 12 drug manufacturers in Shenyang, making 40 kinds of antiviral, antibiotic, fever-reducing, and cough-relieving medicines, said Liu Yaoguo, an official with Shenyang Municipal Development and Reform Commission. "All of them have been operating at full steam."

In the meantime, various measures have been taken to speed up the flow of medical products, ensuring they can smoothly enter the market and reach the people.

At the China Resources Pharmaceutical Commercial Group Co., Ltd. in the Xicheng District of Beijing, logistic distribution trucks of all sizes are mobilized to speed up transportation.

Ma Chunlin, one of the drivers, packed over 700 boxes into the truck before heading for a warehouse in Beijing's Shunyi District.

With the help of the Beijing Municipal Medical Products Administration, a "green channel" for medicine distribution was set up, providing convenience to logistic distribution trucks like Ma's transporting drug deliveries.

According to company data, it has supplied more than 3 million items of anti-epidemic drugs, including fever reducers, to over 4,000 clients across Beijing in the past week. Among them were 300 hospitals, more than 2,200 community health centres, and over 1,500 retail pharmacies.

From the beginning of December, Sinopharm Logistics's No. 2 warehouse in Shanghai has managed to deliver over 3 million items of medicines in high demand to medical institutions across the city.

"Our staff is working 12 to 17 hours a day to make that happen," said Chen Junfeng, manager of the No. 2 warehouse. He added that at least four trucks are standing by for emergency orders.

At a press conference held earlier this month, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that the supply of medicines for key locations, including medical institutions and nursing homes for the elderly, will be prioritized. Large pharmacies will be mobilized to develop online platforms to facilitate the delivery of medicines to patients in need.

JD Health International Inc., the healthcare branch of the e-commerce giant, has been working with express delivery companies to help more than 1,400 offline pharmacies in Beijing provide home delivery services.

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