BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: India, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs has restricted the export of common medicines like Paracetamol and 25 raw pharmaceutical ingredients. The ingredients are used for making medicines that could be used for treating coronavirus patients.
Due to coronavirus outbreak in China, there’s short supply of raw material from that country and hence the government wants to ensure there’s sufficient stock of medicines in the country.
The decision was taken by the health authorities after three positive cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday. Besides over-the-counter painkiller and fever reducer paracetamol, drugs restricted for exports include common antibiotics metronidazole, and those used to treat bacterial and other infections as well ingredients for vitamin B1 and B12 production.
A notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said the export of 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations would require licence.
Interestingly, India which is a source of about 20 per cent of the world’s generic drug supply has to depend on China for two-thirds of raw material to make them. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, most factories have been shut and that has impacted global supplies considerably.
India’s pharmaceutical material imports stand at around $3.5bn per year, and around 70 per cent, or $2.5bn come from China.