The Union Government is planning to impose export restrictions on 12 medicines comprising antibiotics, vitamins and hormones. The move is aimed to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines across the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak which was first reported in China’s Hubei’s province.
Hubei is one of the major suppliers of raw material or active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) used in medicine formulations.
An eight-member expert committee appointed by the Government was asked to take stock of the situation pertaining to supply of medicines within country.
The Committee suggested ban on 12 drugs including antibiotics like chloramphenicol, neomycin, metronidazole, azythromicin, clindamycin; vitamin B1, B2 and B6; as well as hormone like progesterone, a report said.
“We have finalised the report and will submit it to the government by Tuesday,” an official, who is part of the expert committee told TOI.
“We have gathered that there is enough inventory to continue for at least the next two months. However, since Hubei and Shandong are the two provinces that supplies 20-25% of the raw material, if the lockdown continues for another 15 days, there may be a cascading effect. We have recommended a temporary export restriction on 12 drugs which are completely dependent on supplies from these two provinces,” the official was quoted by the report.
India imports around 80-85% of APIs from China. Though some pharma companies like Lupin manufacture APIs locally, it is mostly for captive use.