Written By: Sunaina Sodhi(M-Pharma + MBA)

According to Global data report, the impact of coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the supply chain of APIs import from China and so, it is a “wake up call” for Indian manufacturers to reduce dependence on China.

At present, India imports 70% of its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients from China

“It is not a short -term or a medium-term fix. It is a longer-term fix. It is an opportunity for domestic players to bring back manufacturing into India.”

Many Pharma giants think it is a global opportunity for India to reduce its over-dependence on China for API import. This outbreak and recent issue with China can also increase the price for life-saving raw materials and APIs from China.

But this reduction cannot happen overnight. Easing the regulatory environment is the most challenging right now. Indian domestic manufacturers can only fasten-up the process of manufacturing if they get support from the Indian government.

It is not that China has always ruled India for API import but the Pharma giants did not get support from the Indian government. If we look in the past, Penicillin-G is a very important intermediate for anti-infectives, and they’re used to be six plants in India but at present, all plants moved to China and there is not a single plant present in India.

Therefore, to reduce the overdependence on China, we need a strong ecosystem and the government should remove all regulatory hurdles. It should also provide high-quality drugs at affordable prices.

To reduce dependence, the government has planned to put a production-linked incentive scheme to boost domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials or drug intermediates used to make bulk drugs as well as APIs.

This scheme will help in the long run, to move the dominance in this sector and also help to build a self-reliant supply chain and aid the overall development of the Indian Pharma Industry.

Sunaina Sodhi

She is working for international pharmaceutical business development.