India’s dependency on China for Pharma bulk drugs must be addressed

Since Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world, it has given rise to anxieties over whether the epidemic would affect the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredients from China as it is the largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients from where to India and other countries import these ingredients.

India’s pharma industry is already concerned as it has implied that a rise in medicine costs cannot be ruled out even if the inventories are relaxed for three months. If the lockdown in China continues and with workers staying away it can affect the output of API units there.

The imports are used to manufacture important medicines such as paracetamol, metformin, ofloxacin, metronidazole, ampicillin and amoxycillin.  A similar cutback took place in 2018 as well. It was noteworthy that the shocks, in fact, boosted India’s active pharmaceutical ingredients exports, which accounted for about a fourth of the country’s total pharma exports of $20 billion.

Even though the center had approved the need for self-sufficiency in active pharmaceutical ingredients, which set up an ‘inter-departmental’ task force in 2018 in order to look into the issue.

It is another matter that earlier committees also investigated into the issue of boosting active pharmaceutical ingredients output.