Indian government shuts down export of certain APIs due to coronavirus

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Vitalij Sova)
(Image: Getty/Vitalij Sova)

Related tags India API Coronavirus

With the supply of certain APIs limited by the spread of the virus, Indian government orders restrictions on the export of ingredients and formulations.

The Indian government’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry announced the restrictions today​, listing the affected products.

In total, 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations containing such APIs have been placed under export restriction.

The APIs include such products as paracetamol, an over-the-counter painkiller, clindamycin, an antibiotic, and tinidazole, an anti-infective. In addition, a number of vitamins are included on the list.

The government concluded the notice by stating that the export of the APIs and formulations “is hereby ‘restricted’ with immediate effect [until] further orders.”

Previously, executives at Sun Pharma had detailed price rises of around 80-90%​ on the supply of certain products due to supply constraints from China, exacerbated by ‘speculative buying.’

With supply issues continuing amid the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the Indian government has taken the action to ensure that the country has sufficient supply of such products internally.

In order for manufacturers to export the affected products, the companies will have to apply for appropriate certification from the government.

The disruption of supply is broadly inline with projections early into the crisis​, with a majority of industry traders questioned in a survey agreeing that there would be disruption of API supply and over a third projecting it would be a ‘high impact’.

Recently, this has led to major Western pharmaceutical manufacturers updating investors​ that financials may take a hit, as a result on constraint of supply.

As yet, the numbers of people who have contracted the virus within India itself are comparatively low, compared with countries located not too far away, such as Thailand and Singapore. At the moment, there are five confirmed cases and zero deaths from the virus.

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