India Must Manufacture More APIs Locally, Depend Less On China: Experts

India Must Manufacture More APIs Locally, Depend Less On China: Experts

NEW DELHI, 18 JUNE 2020:


Experts from India’s drug industry say there needs to be a bigger push to make active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) locally and reduce dependence on China. The main concerns are rising costs of APIs and drug safety.


“They are attacking us in two ways – physically at the border and economically by increasing prices of APIs, key starting materials (KSMs) and intermediates,” said Dinesh Dua, chairman, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), a division of the commerce and industry ministry. Dua expressed concern over the increase by Chinese suppliers.


“The cost of paracetamol has gone up by 27%. Similarly, there has been an increase of 20% for ciprofloxacin and penicillin G by 20%. The prices have gone up across the board by 20%,” he said.


India, the world’s third-largest drug producer by volumes, imports 70% of its APIs from China. For some APIs, especially antibiotics, dependence on China is over 90%. India’s top drug makers, including Dr Reddy’s, Lupin, Glenmark, Mylan, Zydus and Pfizer are dependent on China for APIs.


Sudharshan Jain, secretary general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a lobby group, said it is monitoring the situation. “At the moment, we have enough inventory, but we need to be cautious,” he said.


Calling it “sensitive” situation, an expert said so far Chinese suppliers have not red-flagged issues. “Though cutting trade ties will not go in favour of China at this point when there is anti-China sentiment around the world, we must be vigilant,” the expert said. ET HealthWorld