The news broke on Tuesday that the Indian government had decided that the export of 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations would be placed under restriction.
The list of products affected includes several antibiotics and painkillers, which could lead to problems for the European supply chain that is reliant on Indian exports.
As a result, Dinesh Dua, chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), told Reuters that European industry was ‘panicking’.
Dua explained, “I am getting a huge number of calls from Europe because it is very sizeably dependent on Indian formulations and we control almost 26% of the European formulations in the generic space.”
At the time of the Indian government’s announcement, Pharmexcil called on the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to “[relax] the restrictions on the shipments lying at ports and also for the supplies meant for other countries.”
Dua reported to Reuters that there is currently $10m (€8.9m) worth of product currently blocked at ports or close to being ready for export.
The clamp down on the export of such medicines in India is related to supply issues from China, where industrial production has been slowed or halted entirely by the spread of the coronavirus.
Such production issues have already had a knock-on impact, with the US Food and Drug Administration already announcing the first drug shortage as a result of the virus – though it chose not to name the product in question.
Pharma companies have also been revealing the potential impact the virus could have on their own supply chain, with Mylan announcing that it expects its finances to take a hit but also added that it expects to weather the global situation better than some of its rivals.