Covid-19: India allows paracetamol formulation export, retains curbs on API

Topics Coronavirus | paracetamol | Lockdown

When an item is in the restricted list of exports, an exporter has to obtain a no-objection certificate from the commerce ministry before shipping overseas
India on Friday removed restrictions on export of the common pain and fever drug paracetamol, though restrictions on export of raw material for making the drug will remain in place.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification that export of formulations made from paracetamol, including fixed dose combinations (FDCs), was now permitted. However, export of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) will remain restricted. For items in the restricted list, exporters have to obtain a ‘no objection certificate’ from the ministry of commerce.
Welcoming the move, Sudarshan Jain, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), said the government had been regularly checking with the industry on stocks of medicines in the domestic market. “Every 15 days, the government would seek data on inventory of medicines and API. They have first ensured there is enough stock in the domestic market, and then opened exports,” Jain said.

On March 3, India had put curbs on exports of 13 key APIs and their formulations, including paracetamol. 
This was revised in the first week of April to allow exports of almost all critical APIs and formulations (including antibiotics and vitamins).
The government had decided to curb export of these products as APIs of these were mainly imported from China, and in the wake of a supply crisis, it did not want to have any shortage.

India exported approximately $5.4 billion worth formulations made from paracetamol between April 2019 and January 2020. In FY19, India exported $5.8 billion worth paracetamol formulations.

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