Export Restriction on 26 Pharmaceutical Ingredients

In light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the government has imposed restrictions on the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients.

  • Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients:

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient or API is the raw material used for drug manufacture. It is the actual component that brings about the intended effect. Some drugs have multiple APIs. A drug is composed of API(s) and another component called excipient that helps deliver the medication to the target system.

  • APIs covered by the Restriction:

The government has imposed export restrictions on 26 APIs and also formulations containing them (such as antibiotics, hormones and vitamins). Some of the restricted APIs include paracetamol, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, tinidazole, progesterone (hormone), metronidazole, chromaphenicol, ornidazole, etc.

  • API Sector in India:

India imports APIs worth 3.5 billion USD every year. Of this, nearly 70% is sourced from China. This amounts to 2.5 billion USD worth of API annually. India exports a limited quantity of APIs too. Last year’s API exports from India stood at 225 million USD. The restrictions were imposed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak increasing demand for these drugs.

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