The pharmaceutical industry has been a center of focus in the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis because it has an important role to play. This industry discovers, develops, produces, and markets (pharmaceutical) drugs for use as medications, with the aim to cure the patients, vaccinate them, or alleviate the symptoms. Hence, developing a vaccine or cure to COVID-19 is the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry.
Across the globe, pharmaceutical companies are currently engaged in a fierce battle to develop the first, safe COVID-19 vaccine (which would be a big money maker too for the company involved).
Leaving aside the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry is a crucial one for national economies because without the availability of physically healthy people, an economy cannot grow optimally. This is also why the Indonesian government has been trying to encourage more rapid development of the national pharmaceutical industry. By safeguarding healthy generations of Indonesians, the nation has a much bigger chance of developing into a developed country in the next couple of decades (provided these healthy people can enjoy education, hence master higher skills, and find employment opportunities).
Another reason why the Indonesian government wants to see rapid development of the national pharmaceutical industry is because this industry has remained highly dependent on imports of raw materials, and thus puts big pressure on the country’s trade balance, current account balance, and rupiah exchange rate. And considering a growing number of Indonesians are spending an increasing amount of disposable income on healthcare, the dependence on imported raw materials is bound to grow if domestic production of raw materials is not stimulated.
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