According to the managing director of a pharmaceutical company, drug supply chains could become less global as a result of the pandemic.
Martin Meeson, CEO of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, told CNBC's Squawk Box Europe that pharmaceutical companies are working to make sure people have access to medicines.
"I think there could be a little more local focus as we go along, maybe just a little lengthening of some of those supply chains, but I think the whole sector has worked really well to make sure these drugs continue to be in place Flow to people and patients who need them, "Meeson said on Monday.
At the start of the pandemic, some experts warned of temporary drug shortages in the US.
Drug supply chains are often global, with China being the world's largest supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients. India now supplies around 40% to 50% of all generics in the US, according to Rohit Bhat, an analyst at B & K Securities.
Meeson stressed the need for collaboration between parties involved in the manufacture of medicines, such as universities that "do the discovery work," and manufacturers that can make medicines on a large scale.
"We have to keep working on it as we move forward as it is very difficult to think about being in one when you are not … in a pandemic," he said.
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"I know a lot of countries are making sure they have their own … local manufacturing and engineering skills online. We are working very closely with governments around the world to support this in the future."
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is working with developer Novavax to produce a Covid-19 vaccine. In August, the UK government signed a contract with Novavax to purchase 60 million doses of the potential vaccine NVX-CoV2373, which is currently in clinical trials. The U.S. government agreed to pay Novavax $ 1.6 billion to develop and manufacture the vaccine in July as part of its Operation Warp Speed initiative.
The Fujifilm business is best known for film and photo products, but has diversified in recent years. In 2019, the company had sales of nearly $ 5 billion in its healthcare business, which is 22% of the sales of the broader group, Meeson said.
– CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum contributed to this report.