Niti Aayog Meeting on Coronavirus

Following the coronavirus outbreak in China, to discuss the impact of disruption in supplies of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the Niti Aayog held a meeting with the captains of industry in the pharmaceutical sector. To reduce dependence on imports of the APIs from China, hosts of measures were discussed aimed at boosting their domestic manufacturing, said the reports according to sources.

Amitabh Kant, the CEO of Niti Aayog chaired the meeting and Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Pharmaceutical Department Secretary P D Vaghela along with others attended the meeting.

Kant said in a tweet after the meeting, “To discuss the options for domestic manufacturing of critical APIs on which India is import-dependent, a fruitful, constructive & positive meeting with captains of industry in the pharmaceutical sector.”

Kant told industry captains that China accounted for 67.56 percent of the total imports of bulk drugs and drug intermediates at USD 2,405.42 million to India in 2018-19 and now we should try to become globally competitive to beat China.

If the coronavirus situation in China does not improve soon, the prices of the key pharmaceutical ingredients could rise, said Pankaj Patel, the Chairman of Zydus Group.

To review the situation following the outbreak of the deadly virus in China, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, met the representatives of various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, paints, surgical equipment, auto, solar, chemicals, textiles, electronics, and IT hardware. Measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the domestic industry will soon be announced by the government, she said.

The finance minister had said that disruptions are visible in pharmaceutical, chemical and solar equipment sectors due to delay in shipment and these sectors are the worst affected.

A high-level panel to assess the impact of the outbreak of the deadly virus in China on the supply of APIs in India is already constituted by the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

“We have stocks for the next two-three months,” said the Indian drugmakers to the high-level committee. For the past 20-25 days, there has been no supply from the neighboring country mainly due to the Chinese New Year holidays.

For fermentation-based APIs and intermediates, India has a high dependence on China.

Sudarshan Jain, the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) Secretary-General, had earlier said that the companies have been maintaining a 2-3 months inventory of these APIs and intermediates.

From China, bulk drugs and APIs for producing medicines, including certain essential medicines are imported by India.

Niti Aayog Meeting on Coronavirus Source

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