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Coronavirus: No Shortage Of APIs For Three Months, Says Gowda

Gandhinagar,Amid reports of the coronavirus outbreak in China affecting the Indian pharma industry, Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Sadanand Gowda on Thursday assured there is no shortage of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for at least three months.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are the raw materials required to produce medicines. They are also referred to as bulk drugs.

“There is no shortage of any APIs for next three months. There is some confusion about supply and availability of medicines. We have got sufficient medicines and sufficient APIs. For another three months, there is no shortage (of raw material) for manufacturing pharmaceuticals,” Gowda said here.

The minister was speaking at the inauguration of the India Pharma 2020, the fifth international conference on pharmaceutical industry, organised at the Mahatma Mandir here.

Gowda said the Narendra Modi government is taking steps to check the spread of coronavirus in India.

“There is no need to panic about the coronavirus. The Group of Ministers as well as secretaries are meeting daily to assess the situation. We are also in regular touch with the Prime Minister”s Office,” he said.

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya also assured that the Centre has made plans to tackle any situation regarding coronavirus.

Initiatives are being taken to open API manufacturing parks in different parts of the country to reduce dependency on China, he said at the conference.

During the inaugural session of the conference, Zydus Group Chairman Pankaj Patel said the present situation is a “wake up call as natural calamities” can strike anytime.

“There is a long pending need to support the API industry in the country so that we don”t remain dependent on a specific region (for imports). There was a time when we were the leaders in API production. We need to create API parks,” he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was present at the conference, thanked the Modi government for approving a bulk drugs park and a medical devices manufacturing park in the state.

During the event, Gowda and Rupani inaugurated ”Pharma Bureau”, a single point interface created by the ministry in Delhi to address issues concerning the pharma industry.

Later talking to reporters, Mandaviya admitted that international participation in the conference is less this time because of the coronavirus scare.-Outlook India

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