Coronavirus Hits the Drug Supply Chain as India Stops Exporting

Coronavirus is responsible for Drug shortage and hampers the supply chain

Coronavirus Hits the Drug Supply Chain as India Stops Exporting
Drug Supply

Coronavirus Hits the Drug Supply Chain as India Stops Exporting


Coronavirus makes many major cities in China to stand still. As a result, drug-related companies and factories remain shut and the whole shipment processes of sending drugs, drugs raw material.

Being dependent on China’s raw materials, India is bound to limit its exports as they can not produce medicines at the same pace as before.  Although some of the factories start working, they may face providing some medication tough.

As a result, India has stopped exporting 26 drugs and drug ingredients, including antibiotics. Companies need explicit government permission if they want to ship these products. 

The decision by India is a problem for all people worldwide. The whole world depends on India as it supplies generic drugs. Reports from the India Brand Equity Foundation confirms $19 billion export by India from drugs. India alone exports words one-fifth generic drugs.

Recent economic reports show that the world is dependent on Chinese products. For example, we can mention iPhones and auto parts. As China can not send shipments anymore, Apple decided to cut its sales expectation from China last month. The reason behind that Chinese factory that reopened after this outbreak can not produce products like before.  

Similarly, the drug economy in China is partly shut down for the outbreak. The stopping of exporting drugs by India is a delicate decision as the country also might need medicine if the outbreak becomes epidemic here. According to an Indian official who anonymously says the government prioritizes its people's safety at first and wants to make sure India has adequate drugs before exporting them.

The Food and Drug Administration confirms that they are feeling the shortage of drugs as the severe outbreak hampers drug supply. It has monitored at least 20 other drugs’ manufacturers entirely depend on China.  

Last Tuesday, Dr Stephen Hahn heard about India’s exporting limitation in the morning. He is the head of the F.D.A.

He says, “We’re working very closely to look at that list to assess how that will affect the medical supply chain.”

The supply chain related to drug delivery is a constant concern for some lawmakers and Trump administration officials. They have been analyzing this very carefully, and they think coronavirus may result in shortages of drug supplies.

A hearing between the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission and experts held in July. There, experts explained that their dependency on China is in trouble now and purchasing drugs from India is also not the right decision.  

According to Rosemary Gibson, buying drugs from India is not a better solution as it depends on China for pharmaceutical ingredients or A.P.I.s. If India starts sourcing those raw ingredients itself, then drug prices may rise. As a co-author of “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” Gibson testified at that hearing.

She says, “The main reason that India wants to import A.P.I.s from China is that it’s cheap. If we choose to move from China to India, even if it has the capacity to manufacture its A.P.I.s, it would make it more expensive.”

Sudarshan Jain confirms that India will completely stop some specified drugs. He is the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance’s secretary-general, and this company illustrates many hotshot pharmaceutical companies. 

He says, “It’s not a ban on export. It’s a restriction. What we want to do is monitor the movement of the drugs.”

Metronidazole, erythromycin salts, clindamycin salts, ornidazole, neomycin, chloramphenicol, tinidazole are some of the antibiotics that India has limited to export.

Though the world will face scarcity of these drugs, India has a stock enough for three months.