The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India has begun reaching out to drugmakers, seeking details of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), key starting materials (KSMs) and intermediates they import from China as part of a preparedness plan India wants to ready, following the coronavirus outbreak.
The information would enable the government to address the situation, in the event of the deadly virus continuing to impact supplies for a longer term, in the best possible manner.
A database would help working towards alternatives, according to a Pharmexcil statement.
“Coronavirus has created an impact on China and the industrial units producing APIs have stalled production in many areas of China. As a result, supplies to India are likely to be affected in the coming weeks till the official announcement of China on the restoration of API supplies,” a circular said.
Pharmexcil director general Ravi Uday Bhaskar said pharma companies in India were unlikely to be impacted immediately as they, at all times, maintained an inventory of material required for two-three months. The information sought is more on what ought to be done in the event of coronovirus impact on the supplies, from China, remaining longer.
The scare comes in the backdrop of the robust growth in pharmaceutical exports in the first nine months of the fiscal. He said pharma exports during the April-December period were $15.54 billion or a growth of 11.5% from the $13.94 billion in the corresponding period of 2018-19. The 14.64% growth in the third quarter (September-December) this fiscal was the highest thus far this fiscal.
Mr.Bhaskar said Pharmexcil was hopeful of the exports touching at least $21 billion this fiscal. Last year, the exports were about $19.13 billion.
The country is a major player in the generics space and manufacturers depend heavily on China for APIs.-The Hindu