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Government bans export of 26 pharma ingredients

Date: 04-03-2020
Subject: Government bans export of 26 pharma ingredients
NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday banned the export of 26 advanced pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) or basic chemicals, including paracetamol, antibiotics such as metronidazole and neomycin, some vitamins and hormones due to the spread of Coronavirus and disruption in supplies from China, which is the epicentre of what is now a global health emergency. 

Along with the curbs, the government also sought to allay fears of scarcity. “The committee (headed by Eshwara Reddy, joint drugs controller, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), in its report, has mentioned that the present stock-inhand of the APIs may be sufficient for two-to-three months to manufacture formulations and has also given certain recommendations. The committee further mentioned that there is no need to panic so far as drug security is concerned,” the department of pharmaceuticals said in a statement, adding that states have been asked to ensure adequate supply of basic chemicals. 

The pharma department said most of the Chinese companies manufacturing pharmaceutical ingredients, excluding those in Hubei province, have now resumed operations partially and are expected to be fully operational by the end of March. “There are no restrictions on the export of APIs from China. The Chinese companies are willing to export to India, however logistics sector has not yet resumed operations fully. It is observed from Port offices of CDSCO that APIs are being imported from China. As per the information received from port offices of CDSCO, 56 consignments of APIs are imported during 26th and 27th Feb 2020. Out of 56, 40 consignments are from China and rest are from countries other than China,” it said in a statement. 

India imports nearly two thirds of its API requirement from China, which is seen to be more competitive than domestic producers, with several medicines identified where the government needs to ensure alternate sources of supply. In fact several of the chemicals whose exports were banned by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade figured on the list. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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