Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd (HMD), one of the largest manufacturers of Disposable Syringes in the World and possibly the largest for Auto Disable syringes has shipped over 100 million pieces of KOJAK Auto Disable Syringes to Covax stockpile facility as the Covid-19 vaccines are showing promising results across the globe.
The Covax facility working for global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines has ordered 140 million KOJAK AD Syringes from HMD to be supplied between August and December 2020.
“HMD has shipped out more than 100 million pieces of 0.5 ml auto disable (AD) syringes for intra muscular injections to Covax facility and will soon send the next 40 million Syringes by December as the race for a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine against coronavirus infection is on the horizon.” said Mr. Rajiv Nath, Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd.
In anticipation of the unprecedented spike in demand, HMD has ordered multi cavity molds, high speed assembly & packaging lines and expects to achieve 800 million capacity per annum, in Qtr1 and 1000 million by end of Qtr 2 of 2021, up from current capacity of 700 million of these specialized 0.5 ml AD Syringes. We plan to allocate 50% of the total 0.5 ML AD Syringes produced for the government of India and 50% for export to UNICEF as we have got a global responsibility too,” added Mr. Nath.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has taught the importance of infection prevention practices like hand-hygiene to all. WHO and UNICEF has recommended that auto-disable syringes be used for administering vaccines— particularly in mass immunization programs.
“The front runner CoviD vaccines being launched in India would need a 0.5ml AD Syringe for intramuscular drug delivery we are informed. In addition to the annual procurement of 300-350 million of these syringes by GoI for the UIP (Universal Immunization Program) additional orders have been placed on us by MoH&FW. We are informed that MoH&FW is in discussion with their other 2 suppliers also to place additional orders or seek to pre-pone deliveries of already placed orders with them. HMD is on track to produce 177.6 million 0.5 ml KOJAK AD syringes for GOI by March 2021 and 60 million are already in our stock, awaiting dispatch instructions,” Explained Mr. Rajiv Nath.
“HMD is gearing up to meet the Auto Disable Syringe demands which is the preferred mode of injection in public healthcare to ensure injection safety in addition the private healthcare where standard disposable syringes usage is prevalent.We have requested the Govt. to provide us clarity on the various kinds of syringes required for the vaccine candidates under development as some of these would be by intradermal delivery ( via skin) or intra nasal delivery (via nose) or possibly oral delivery (via mouth). Each type would require a matching specialized syringe type. We need early intimation for boosting the capacities further. Syringe production is not like production of PPE kits which can be easily ramped up. It requires precision engineered multi cavity molds, equipment and automation that have a lead time of 9 months to a year from reputed suppliers in Europe & Japan.” said Mr. Nath.
“We on behalf of the Indian syringe manufacturers appeal to the Govt. to increase the import duty on syringes to enable a “level the playing field”. It has not been feasible for domestic manufacturers to fully access the local market. Last year, India had exported nearly 1.07 Billion syringes worth over 250 Cr Rs but imported 423 Cr Rs worth of syringes. It’s ironic that though we are globally competitive, we lose out to cheap subsidized Chinese imports and the requirement to match L1 (lowest) price of Chinese imports becomes non-remunerative and discourages investments as it’s like making traffic lights, if Govt. will not buy , you can’t sell in private sector and it take time to build credentials for exports. Currently over 50% of the AD Syringes used in immunization come in from China We urge the government to increase import duty on syringes from 7.5% to 15% to enable expansion of supply base and profitable growth of quality certified production of all components and products in India.” said Nath.
With over 9 plants, HMD has created a niche for their disposable syringe ―DISPOVAN which is today the most popular brand in syringe market in India with over 60% market share with Dispovan Needle and Dispovan Insulin Syringes having over 70% Market Share and thereby displaced renowned MNC‘s – an inspirational case study for other Indian entrepreneurs.
HMD is one of the largest suppliers to UN Agencies like UNICEF, UNOPS for Auto Disable Syringes for immunization and is also the first Company in India to manufacture Auto Disable Syringes for Curative Segment.
“As India gets ready for COVID-19 vaccine, the Govt. should be well equipped with secured stock of syringes in advance to administer a vaccine when it is ready. The estimated demand in India would be around 900 million of different kinds of syringes for just one shot of vaccine, considering 60-70 percent of the country is being vaccinated. The number would amplify to 1.8 Billion if the vaccine India chooses, needs two shots,” Concluded Rajiv Nath.