Current AffairsIndian Affairs

Government laid export restrictions on 26 pharma ingredients and medicines

Government laid export restrictions on 26 pharma ingredients and medicines including paracetamol, vitamin B1 and B12, with immediate effect despite the coronavirus outbreak in China.  Highlights: The export of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and formulations will now require a licence from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Previously, no restrictions were laid on outbound shipments of these products.  The restrictions announce significance on account of concerns over coronavirus spreading to many countries. The export restricted pharma ingredients including progesterone, chloramphenicol, ornidazole, paracetamol, vitamin B1, B6 and B12, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir,  formulations made of chloramphenicol, clindamycin salts, and neomycin. Background: In February 2020, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) recommended the DGFT to issue orders to restrict the export of 12 APIs and formulations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Regarding this, a high-level committee was formed by the DoP under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers. The committee monitored the supply of raw materials for drugs from China had recommended the restrictions. Note: API is the raw material for pharmaceuticals. India’s API imports stood at around $3.5 billion per year and around 70% come from China.

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