Impact of Coronavirus (COVID19) on India Pharmaceuticals
India is one of the largest providers of generic drugs worldwide. India pharmaceutical industry supplies approximately 50% of vaccines worldwide, 40% of generics in the United States and 25% of all medicines in the United Kingdom. India exports bulk drugs, intermediates, drug formulations, biologicals, Ayush & herbal products, and surgicals to various countries.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian pharmaceutical sector had a market size of USD 33 Billion in 2017. India’s pharmaceutical exports had witnessed an increase from USD 19.14 Billion in 2019 to USD 17.27 billion in 2018.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak had a negative impact on the India pharmaceutical industry in the following ways:
- India has restricted the export of several drugs such as paracetamol, antibiotics such as tinidazole and erythromycin, hormone progesterone, which is used in the contraceptive pill, and vitamins B12, B1 and B6. These drugs account for approximately 10% of all India’s pharmaceutical exports.
- The Indian government have imposed limits on the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients
- Indian pharmaceutical companies are now close to exhausting their supply of raw materials such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Moreover, the inventories related to the pharmaceutical ingredients are running low.
- Several pharmaceutical companies who have contracts with domestic clients and various state governments to supply medicines have been crippled, as manufacturing has come to a halt due to a shortage of raw materials from China
- Pharmaceutical companies are not able to procure pharmaceutical ingredients for Mintelukast, used for asthma, pain medication Nimesulide, and Amoxicillin, Ofloxaicin, and Chloramphenicol, which are used to treat bacterial infections, and antibiotic Metronidazole
- Small and medium companies have been most affected as they depend on traders and keep lower inventory
- There is a drastic increase of 20-30% in the prices of raw materials used in medicines like Amoxicillin and Paracetamol.
- The pharmaceutical logistics is facing the difficulties in receiving the raw material from other parts of the country