India’s pharma industry is highly dependent on raw material sourced from China. The current shutdown due to Coronavirus pandemic is threatening to cut the supply chain and this can disrupt India’s 39-billion dollar drug production market.
India, the world’s third-largest drug producer by volume, reportedly imports 70 per cent of its raw material from China.
Industry experts are worried about what will happen if China decides to extend the quarantine trend for a few more weeks, according to a report published in the Economic Times.
Chairman of Federation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (FOPE), BR Sikri, has reportedly said that India is likely to face shortage of essential drugs because of the blockade in China.
Raw material from China is used for making antibiotics, paracetamol, diabetes and cardiovascular drugs, etc. Companies such as Glenmark, Mankind, Lupin,Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy’s, Torrent, Aurobindo Pharma and Abbott are highly dependent on Chinese imports according to experts.
Also, the problem is amplified as most of the drug manufacturing units of China are located in and around Hubei province, which is the epicentre of Coronavirus outbreak.
However, some experts see a brighter side for India’s manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients of which there are around 1,500 plants but running at 40 per cent of their capacity. These industries are located in Baddi (in Himachal), Hyderabad and Maharashtra and will see a growth in demand if the situation in China doesn’t improve.
Apart from medicines, India is also dependent on China for electronics and electrical components.