Thursday, April 29, 2021

Indian pharma hit hard by China’s suspension of cargo flights

Hyderabad: The India pharma is hit hard by suspension of cargo flights by China which has adversely impacted raw material imports, adding to the Covid-19 challenges faced by the sector. .

“About 15 days ago Chinese State-owned Sichuan Airlines suspended cargo services to India,'' R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), told BusinessLine on Thursday. “It is worrisome, in addition to increased freight cost and shortage of containers in the current scenario,'' the official added.

Pharmexcil has requested the Centre to intervene and also wrote to Vikram Misri, Ambassador, Embassy of India in Beijing.

According to official data, India is sourcing almost 60-70 per cent of requirement of drug intermediates/ key starting materials (KSM)/active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China and most importantly 45-50 per cent of all APls imported feature in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

The decision to suspend cargo flights to India by China comes at a time when the pharma industry is struggling hard to meet the global commitments during this hard phase of Covid second wave.

“It is likely to disrupt frantic efforts by the Indian pharma industry to import medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators as well as the KSMs/APIs required to manufacture finished formulations,'' Bhaskar said. The same has also been communicated to the Centre and the Indian Embassy in China .

29/04/21 G Naga Sridhar/Business Line

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