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Government relaxes export curbs on 24 pharma ingredients, medicines

Government relaxes export curbs on 24 pharma ingredients, medicinesRepresentational Image
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Government has relaxed export curbs on 24 pharma ingredients and medicines including vitamin B1 and B12.

Government has relaxed export curbs on 24 pharma ingredients and medicines including vitamin B1 and B12. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a notification in this regard yesterday.

Paracetamol, a common pain reliever, and its formulations were not included in the list of drugs freed up for export.

On March 3, DGFT, under the commerce ministry, had imposed export restrictions on 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulations, under which exporter has to obtain a licence or permission from the DGFT.

Easing of curbs on 24 APIs and its formulations assumed significance as certain pharma companies have raised concerns over these restrictions. With this, the export of these items is allowed freely without any restrictions.

Besides Vitamin B1, B6 and B12, the other APIs and formulations over which the export restrictions have been eased include Tinidazole, Metronidazole, Acyclovir, Progesterone, Chloramphenicol, Ornidazole, formulations made of Chloramphenicol, formulations made of Clindamycin Salts, and formulations made of Neomycin.

The APIs and formulations included common antibiotics and vitamins.

India has exported APIs worth about USD 225 million last year.

The country's API imports stood at around USD 3.5 billion per year. Out of this, about USD 2.5 billion is from China.

It was not clear what prompted India to lift the restrictions, but it seems that the decision is a follow up of a telephone call between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Saturday. "The two leaders agreed to remain in touch on the issue of global supply chains for critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and to ensure they continue to function as smoothly as possible during the global health crisis," White House spokesman Judd Deere, said in a tweet on Saturday following the leaders` call.


Besides, India has also placed restrictions on the export of most diagnostic testing kits. And in recent weeks it had also banned the export of ventilators, masks and other protective gear needed by both patients and medical staff.

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