India reducing API exports due to coronavirus threatening global supply chain

pharmafile | March 4, 2020 | News story | Research and Development APIs, Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients, Big Pharma, Chinese Coronavirus, Wuhan Coronavirus, coronavirus 

India is set to reduce exports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) until further notice, due to fears of internal drug shortages that could occur from coronavirus.

India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade on Tuesday issued a notice restricting the export of 26 APIs and formulations, including paracetamol, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, progesterone, chloramphenicol and ornidazole.

India and China supply a large portion of the world with APIs, but India also rely on China for medication and the country gets nearly 70% of their APIs from their neighbour. Currently, India has enough product to cover their operations for up to three months but this is still set to be disrupted, with antibiotics set to be hit the hardest.

A government official in India say that its “is closely monitoring the supply of APIs, intermediates and key starting materials which are imported from China and the effect of the outbreak of novel coronavirus in China on their supply.”

This has caused tension on the global drug market. The American FDA imports 24% of its medicines in 2018, and they are still working out how much it will affect them.

Dinesh Dua, Chariman of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, spoked about the effect the coronavirus may have on its markets in Europe, saying he is “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.”

However, Dua also said there were $10 million worth of drugs currently at Indian port that are ready for export.

India currently has 28 cases of coronavirus, which includes 16 Italians.

Conor Kavanagh

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