Industry representatives met senior officials of the department of pharmaceuticals on Monday and apprised them of the current inventory of raw materials. They requested the government to ease pollution norms to allow indigenous units to alter their product portfolio and produce fermentation APIs in the country.
But a senior industry executive, who was a part of the meeting, doubted if Indian API units could switch their products so swiftly. “It would take some time for the Indian units to start making the APIs which are currently imported from China. They have their own export commitments and other contracts,” he said.
The government, too, appeared concerned about the emerging situation. A senior official admitted that the government had already checked if there were alternative sources to procure these APIs. “For fermentation APIs, there is no other option. We have to wait and see how the situation pans out. We are considering the industry proposal to relax pollution norms to step up supplies here if needed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sources indicated that the government may source anti-HIV drugs from Cipla in a bid to treat coronavirus
cases in India.
The company did not respond to e-mailed queries.
Virus claims 425 lives:
• India cancels visas to all Chinese, and other foreigners who visited China
• Air India to suspend Delhi-Hong Kong flights from Feb 8
• Cases top 20,600 as deaths in China rise to 425
• Hong Kong reports 1st coronavirus
death; Belgium confirms 1st case
• Japan quarantines cruise ship (pictured) to screen 3,700
• Thailand has highest infections outside China with 25 cases
• Singapore virus tally hits 24. Four local transmission cases identified
• Hyundai suspends domestic production over the outbreak