India will set up a nearly 100-billion-rupee ($1.3 billion) fund to encourage companies to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients domestically after supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic exposed the country’s dependence on China and raised the specter of drug shortages.
The program includes spending on infrastructure for drug manufacturing centers, and financial incentives of up to 20% of incremental sales value over the next eight years, according to a government statement.
India imports almost 70% of its active pharmaceutical ingredients — the chemicals that make a finished drug work — from China. A number of those chemicals are sourced from Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. As the world’s single largest exporter of generic drugs, India is responsible for about 20% of the world’s supply.