The Centre is working on a plan to help decrease the Indian pharmaceutical industry’s dependence on raw material imports from China, amid the growing tension in Sino-Indian relations.
“All government agencies are keen on this. On the directions of the Ministry of Commerce, Pharmexcil and the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) are working on a Detailed Project Report,” R Udaya Bhaskar, Director-General at Pharmexcil, was quoted as saying in a report by Hindu Business Line.
To achieve this strategic objective, the Ministry of Commerce held a meeting and took inputs from research laboratories to devise a roadmap. The domain experts along with The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will look more into the matter on August 12.
The drug exports to China are minor in terms of value. But India imports raw materials worth up to $6 billion, according to Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil).
China is India's largest supplier of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. “In some cases, including in the life-saving drugs category, the dependence on Chinese imports is as much as 90 per cent. We have identified about 50-60 drugs for import substitution,” Udaya Bhaskar added.
India recently put on hold a USD 1.3 billion deal, under which Chinese company Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceuticals was to take over Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma. In a separate development last month, the Finance Ministry levied provisional anti-dumping duty on O-acid (Ofloxacin Acid) imports from China.
“If tensions escalate, we worry it will cast a shadow on business,” an executive whose company imports raw materials from China was quoted as saying.