Jaipur: Increased dependence on imports of key bulk drugs from China, which is currently in the grip of novel coronavirus (nCoV), might severely affect chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s flagship free medicine scheme.
The scheme had earned Centre’s pat in December last year.
The companies, which provides drugs to the state government for distributing them among people free, import their Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from China.
The situation is alarming, but health department claimed that as of now there was nothing to worry about. However, the health department officials are closely monitoring the situation.
At the moment, no manufacturer has warned us of any imminent problems,” said Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary, health department.
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At a time when the state government is taking measures to increase the number of drugs under the free medicine scheme, there is a scare of shortage of medicines, which might affect the scheme due to nCoV in China.
The health department has started taking measures so that the scheme is not affected.
“We are talking to the Centre and other states to explore alternative sources to procure such drugs in case there are shortages,” Singh said.
Indian pharmaceutical companies look worried about the situation emerging in the sector due to nCoV.
However, the companies claimed that as of now there was no such shortage of medicines, but in future there might be difficulties. “