‘COVID-19 is India’s chance to scale up API production’

Pharma industry leaders on Tuesday said the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting pressure it has brought on the raw material imports from China should be viewed as an opportunity to scale up domestic production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Speaking at a CEO’s Conclave at BioAsia 2020, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance president and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories chairman Satish Reddy said the country was one of the largest producer of APIs. But with time, China became the leader in the space. From a position of strength, India has come to rely heavily on the raw materials on China. As per industry estimates, around 70% of the requirement of pharma industry in India is met by China.

Mr.Reddy said with necessary impetus from the government, the Indian pharma industry, which has the capability, can rise to the occasion.

Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who spoke to media earlier, also there were reports that the pharma units in India had (raw material) stocks to last two-three months. “But, we should not wait for the stocks to run out. About time we should fill up some of the buffer on our own. If we have the capabilities, we should do it now,” she said, adding the government policy enablement should happen now, not later.

Speaking at the Conclave, the Union Minister appreciated the pharma industry for doing well amid the economic slowdown. Hoping that the outbreak of the virus should not come in the way, he said it is possible that Coronovirus will possibly throw up new opportunities.

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