On Tuesday, Ndia, the world’s leading supplier of generic drugs, limited the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs, including paracetamol, as the coronavirus outbreak may turn into a pandemic.
Indian pharmaceutical companies are getting nearly 70 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China for their medicines.
The coronavirus outbreak has already affected businesses dependent on Chinese supplies and industry professionals warn that if the epidemic drags on, Indian generic drug makers are likely to face supply shortages from China.
“The export of specified APIs and formulations made from these APIs… is hereby’ limited’ with immediate effect and until further orders,” the Director-General of Foreign Trade said in a statement, without specifying the extent of the restrictions.
The government’s list included 26 APIs and formulations, representing 10 percent of all exports.
“Whatever the ban (restrictions), some of these molecules may face shortages over the next few months,” Dinesh Dua, chairman of India’s Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (pharmexcil), told Reuters.
The government said separately on Tuesday it had detected “high viral load” in six people who were in touch with a patient who contracted the coronavirus in New Delhi, the capital.
People have been held in isolation, and their samples are being sent for confirmation to India’s National Virology Institute, the government said in a statement.
India reported three new cases of coronavirus on Monday including an Italian national in Rajasthan’s western Indian state. The patient was being closely monitored but healthy in New Delhi, the government said.