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Government Frees Export of 24 Pharma Ingredients and Medicines

Government Frees Export of 24 Pharma Ingredients and Medicines

The changes to the NPPA suggest that the price regulator has been underperforming, when, in fact, it has been sticking close to its government-given mandate. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: The government on Monday relaxed export curbs on 24 pharma ingredients and medicines, including vitamin B1 and B12, according to official notification.

But export restrictions on paracetamol and formulations made of paracetamol would remain, the notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade stated.

On March 3, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (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.

Also read: Does a Pandemic Justify Using an Unproven Drug to Beat the Coronavirus?

“24 APIs and formulations made from these APIs are made free for export with immediate effect,” the DGFT said. With this, the export of these items is allowed freely without any restrictions.

Earlier, there were no restrictions on outbound shipments of these products. APIs are the raw material for pharmaceuticals.

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

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

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.

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