The Covid-19 epidemic has given Indonesia’s pharmaceutical sector a fresh start. In stark contrast to the average 5–10% growth rate, the pharmaceutical sector shrank by -1.6 percent. Meanwhile, a supply shock made it challenging for the nation to get medical raw materials (BBO) since imports met 90% of BBO requirements. Building national pharmaceutical independence for BBO finished pharmaceuticals, and medical devices are urgently necessary. One of the national pharmaceutical businesses, Dexa Group, contributes to promoting pharmaceutical independence.
These topics came up in the seventh Advisory Board Sharing Session, which was moderated by ITB Dean of the School of Pharmacy Prof. Dr. I Ketut Adnyana, Ph.D., and Dexa Group Leader Mr. Ferry Soetikno, M.Sc., MBA. On Saturday, July 2, 2022, the School of Pharmacy at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) hosted a virtual sharing session with the theme “The Dynamics of the Indonesian Pharmaceutical Industry.”
In essence, Mr. Ferry began the presentation by describing the dynamics of the pharmaceutical business up to this point in the Covid-19 epidemic. He claims that the pharmaceutical industry saw an 18% turnaround during the Covid-19 epidemic, with a market value of IDR 125 trillion in 2021.

The pharmaceutical industry dynamics during the pandemic are characterized by changes in consumer behavior, particularly online health product shopping, and a decline in face-to-face interactions between patients and medical professionals at healthcare facilities during the pandemic’s peak.
“We also warmly welcome Mr. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, to the introduction of the Health Transformation Program, which highlights the primary care pillars in a framework that emphasizes prevention. We can also observe that the Indonesian population’s perspective, way of life, and lifestyle must change; instead of treating or curing, we must switch to preventative measures to avoid illness and, more intriguingly, consequences of chronic illnesses,” according to Mr. Ferry.

The Need to Develop Independence
Aside from that, Indonesia is also having issues with its supply chain. Both shipping by air and shipping by water suffer difficulties or delays, which raises the cost of the shipment. As a result, on June 12, 2020, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, called a meeting of the ministers to discuss the pressing need to achieve independence in three areas: BBO completed pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Building on our nation’s capabilities and coordinating across sectors, we must immediately reduce our reliance on imports and begin consuming home production.

The national private sector and state-owned enterprises (BUMN) manufacture 80% of the value of pharmaceuticals in Indonesia, demonstrating the country’s strength in this area. Multinational corporations made up around 20% of the total. National pharmaceutical businesses provide 90–95 percent of the total if expressed in units.

This statistic is significant since, compared to ASEAN nations like Thailand, it has a composition of 60% multinational and 40% national private. Similarly, in the Philippines, and so on,” Mr. Ferry added.

The program to Increase the Use of Domestic Production (P3DN), the Domestic Component Level (TKDN) policy for the 2021–2022 e-catalog, the Proudly Made in Indonesia (BBI) program, and the Fitofarmaka Formulary are just a few of the initiatives the government has started to build independence.

A health transformation initiative was also introduced because Indonesia continues to spend little on healthcare compared to nations like Malaysia and Singapore. This situation also demonstrates the pharmaceutical industry’s potential for development and expansion, which is still sizable.

“President Jokowi stated that we must address the independence of the pharmaceutical, vaccine, and medical equipment industries during the MPR session on August 16, 2021. The state’s leadership noted in a statement that this is a severe vulnerability and that the health industry has the strength to grow and expand quickly,” Mr. Ferry remarked.

The Association of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs promotes the road plan for pharmaceutical independence through drug raw materials, biological products, vaccines, and natural and chemical APIs about the independence debate.

“There are already several pharmaceutical raw material industries for each route dedicated to and invested in establishing the pharmaceutical sector in Indonesia. Because we think Indonesia’s biodiversity should be used, Dexa has also been participating since 2005 through DLBS,” according to Mr. Ferry.

The Dexa Group Contributes to Promoting Pharmacy Independence

For each targeted disorder, research on the bioactive fraction is done at Dexa Laboratories of Biomolecular Sciences (DLBS). Mr. Ferry cited DLBS research products like Redacid, Asimor, and Inaclin for diabetic Mellitus.

“So, a long value chain is what we are creating. Farmers, OMAI raw materials, and the manufacturing of phytopharmaceuticals for the domestic market, such as the National Health Insurance, are all involved in the production of herbal raw materials,” according to Mr. Ferry.

Out of the five phytopharmaceuticals products on the market, Dexa Medica’s research has produced 3 of them, and there are still plenty of options for future study.

In conclusion, Mr. Ferry said, “Research activities are not always straightforward, and our activities are not always smooth. However, we continue to abide by the right and evidence-based principles, intellectual property rights for patents, and how we enrich phytopharmaceuticals in a planned manner. So the phytopharmaceuticals are increased and sufficient, BBO dependence can be reduced if work together,”.