Forbes Indonesia|June 2020
As demand for medical devices grows during COVID-19, the Indonesian government has pushed for the development of domestically produced medical equipment, ranging from test kits to ventilators, to boost the country’s battle against the pandemic.
The pandemic has highlighted the role of state-owned enterprises (SOE) in saving lives and livelihoods. In early April this year, the Ministry of SOE appointed several state-controlled companies to mass-produce COVID-19 equipment, such as diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
A sharp increase in demand for masks has also prompted publicly listed state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Indofarma (INAF) to produce masks and other PPE.
Originally, Indofarma manufactures and markets generic, over-the-counter (OTC), and branded generic drugs in Indonesia and overseas. The company engages in the research and development, testing, production, and sale of drugs and traditional medicines in the form of tablets, capsules, ointments, creams, gels, syrups, dry syrups, powders, drops, injections, and elixirs.
With the arrival of the coronavirus outbreak, the company has sped up its transformation from a pharmaceutical product manufacturer based on Public Service Obligation (PSO) to become a global healthcare company.
As one of the country’s oldest drugmakers, Indofarma now also produces medical equipment for COVID-19 such as syringe, surgical suture, infusion, electro-medical device, and also rapid test equipment. The company teams up with local universities to develop ventilator prototypes to help meet skyrocketing demand for the crucial medical equipment to treat coronavirus patients.
Indofarma Chief Executive Officer Arief Pramuhanto says his company has cooperated with the University of Indonesia to mass-produce Covent-20, a low-cost pneumatic system-based local transport ventilator. The machines have cleared a production test for the Continuous Mandatory Ventilation (CMV) and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) modes of ventilation at the Health Facility Security Agency (BPFK).
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