Panel to look into problem of API shortage

Inter-ministerial panel formed to look into problem of API shortage in India: Centre to Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted to look into the problem of shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredient (APIs) in the country and for enhancing their production indigenously, Union Minister Mansukhlal Mandavia told Rajya Sabha on Friday. Replying to supplementary queries during the Question Hour, the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers said these are such APIs which were imported from China before the coronavirus outbreak.

APIs are bulk drugs or raw materials used for manufacturing medicines. “In America, one in every four generic medicines consumed are made in India. One in every six medicines consumed in the world are manufactured in India,” he told the Rajya Sabha members, adding the pharmaceutical sector imports and exports many APIs.

Responding to a query by a House member, Mandavia said, “The member is right in saying that India is dependent on China for import on many APIs. We have identified 53 such APIs for which we have to depend on China.”

Also read: Rs 15,000-cr to API and Medical devices industry: Govt.

“We have constituted an inter-ministerial committee which is looking into ways on how these APIs be manufactured in the country. It will come out with a plan and work has started on this,” he told the House.

The minister said Indian companies are unable to cope with the competition in the global market as there is 30-35 per cent less production and it is not done in bulk as in other countries. However, he said, the pharma sector is growing as 12 per cent in India.