Shortage of Drugs and APIs in India due to Coronavirus
Indian pharma companies are the main supplier of generic drugs to the world with nearly 70% of total imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) coming from China. However, the coronavirus outbreak has interrupted the dependency of international trade on Chinese supplies of bulk drugs and drug intermediates. Industry experts predict that Indian generic drugmakers would face API supply shortages from China if the epidemic continues.
Sun Pharma’s drug shortage
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said on Monday that there was a shortage of its generic hypertension drug, Pindolol, in the U.S. due to lack of pharmaceutical ingredients. Although the company said they do not import the APIs of the hypertension drug from China, there are certain APIs, which are impacted due to the coronavirus. The company has not specified the names of the other drugs, but a Sun Pharma email stated, “We have sufficient inventory of API and raw materials for the short term.” (Economic Times)
What is the Indian government doing?
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) is planning to take measures to make sure there is no shortage of drugs in India in case of a prolonged lockdown in China. According to a notification dated March 3, India restricted the export of about 26 APIs and formulations, such as antibiotics, vitamins, and hormones. Exports of APIs and formulations, including antibiotics such as neomycin, metronidazole, chloramphenicol, vitamins B1, B12, B6, and the hormone progesterone will be restricted (Economic Times).
Indian trading firms have also started to raise prices of some bulk drugs for pharmaceutical companies, in the wake of the outbreak. The government is planning to boost domestic manufacturing of APIs with an incentive scheme, by creating a corpus fund of Rs 3,000 crore for companies that set up API units. However, the incentive may only benefit big pharma companies (Economic Times).
Anzen Exports’ blog posts are based just on our research from cited websites. To be best informed, we advise consulting a doctor about an ingredient or medicine prior to taking it.