Coronavirus impact/ India could face shortage of medicines, has stock till April; 80% raw material for drugs comes from China

New Delhi (Pawan Kumar): Coronavirus outbreak in China can cause serious drug crisis in India. India has medicine stock till April. The government has set up a high-level committee to prevent the rise in the price of medicines and how to deal with this situation.

Experts from 8 key technical departments have been included in this. The committee has also submitted a preliminary report to the government. 

The committee says that if supplies do not start from China in the next one month, a serious situation may arise. 80% of API (raw material for making medicine) comes from China. About 57 types of molecules come from China. India is completely dependent on China for 19 types of raw materials.

Production stopped in China after the virus outbreak: China had holidays in January, so less raw material came. The virus then spread and production in China was immediately halted. Due to this, the supply has come to a standstill for a month. After the situation is normal there, when the industries re-start, it will take at least 20 days for the raw material to reach India by sea route.

Impact on other countries as well: In view of this situation, high level sources are saying that the government can ban the export of drugs. Drugs worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore are exported from India to different countries annually. Total pharmaceutical business in India is Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

If the situation does not improve in China, then there may be a shortage of antibiotics, anti-diabetics, steroids, hormones and vitamin drugs, a senior official said. API is sourced from China not only in India but also in many other countries of the world. Therefore, the problem may become more serious.