India’s curb on pharmaceutical exports to create panic in Europe

India recently announced a curb on some drug exports owning to the spread of coronavirus.

The country has been an important player in top pharmaceutical exports and one of the main suppliers of generic drugs. The news has caused a state of panic in Europe, thus impacting the business in the sector.

Based on reports, India will restrict the export of 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), including medicines made from them to tackle the possible domestic shortages of medicines.

In a statement to Reuters, Dinesh Dua, chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), said that some of the restricted APIs and medicines were widely exported to Europe and the United States.

“I am getting a huge number of calls from Europe because it is very sizeably dependent on Indian formulations and we control almost 26% of the European formulations in the generic space. So they are panicking,” Dua commented.

List of restricted medicines by India accounts to 10% of its total pharmaceutical exports. The list also includes several antibiotics, in addition to paracetamol, a common pain reliever, which is also sold as acetaminophen.

Arguing in a letter to India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Pharmexcil said the latest development could greatly affect India’s image as a pharmacy and further also have an adverse impact on shipments lined up for export and ports.

Pharmexcil further stated that there were $10 million worth of drugs affected by the recent curbs at Indian ports, among which some were close to being readied for export.

Experts reveal the curb is likely to affect countries in South East Asia, Latin America and Africa.