Novo Nordisk India and Torrent Pharma expand their insulin manufacturing facility

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Nova Nordisk India and Torrent Pharmaceuticals on Monday announced expansion of their insulin manufacturing facility at the latter's Indrad factory, 40 kms from state capital Gandhinagar. Currently reaching out to 3mn patients, the expansion would enable Novo Nordisk to tap 5 mn patients, Melvin D'souza, Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India said. 

The facility was inaugurated by Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Ambassador to India, Embassy of Denmark, Jinesh Shah, Executive Director, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Frederik Kier, Senior Vice President, Region AAMEO, Novo Nordisk, and Melvin D'souza, Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India. The new facility will increase capacity by 35%. The plant was producing 26 mn vials. 

"With the expansion of the facility at Indrad, we reiterate our commitment to ensuring the provision of affordable, quality insulin for people with diabetes. At Novo Nordisk, we are committed to addressing the growing diabetes burden by working with likeminded stakeholders to change diabetes," said Frederik Kier, Senior Vice President, Region AAMEO, Novo Nordisk 

D'souza said: "The growth of diabetes in India is alarming and people with diabetes have a right to access affordable, quality medication. Through this partnership, we will continue to ensure the provision of cost-effective yet high-quality medication." 

Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Novo Nordisk began their partnership 25 years ago in 1992 with the manufacture and launch of insulin in 40 IU vials. In 2009, an integrated manufacturing and vial packaging plant was inaugurated. 

Jinesh Shah, Executive Director, Torrent Pharmaceuticals said: "As we embark on a new growth path at Torrent, we look forward to working more collaboratively with Novo Nordisk to ensure the diabetes challenge in India is addressed effectively." 

Shah said the enhanced production facility will be equipped to address the growing diabetes challenges: India is home to 72.9 million people with diabetes (according to the International Diabetes Federation 8th Atlas). The number is expected to go up to 134.3 million by 2045. As world leaders in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk partners with patients, policymakers, healthcare professionals and non-governmental organisations to address diabetes risk factors, thus ensuring that people with diabetes are diagnosed earlier. Through the Changing Diabetes® Barometer project, Novo Nordisk has partnered with seven state governments to create awareness about diabetes. As part of the project, till date, 700,000 people have been educated about diabetes and over 3700 doctors and paramedics have been trained through various capacity building programs. "Apart from demystifying diabetes, we are keen to bring more people with diabetes into our folds," D'Souza said. Near 50% of Indians with diabetes are or ignorant about their condition, said Kier. Ironically, there are mere 1.2 lakh doctors who practice diabetes for a patient-base of 73 mn, the companies added calling for the need to create capabilities pan-India