Tribune News Service
Karnal, June 23
The pharma industry is facing a shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the vital raw material used to manufacture tablets, capsules and syrups, owing to curbs on imports from China.
Hike in prices another worry
We are dependent on China for 70% raw material. Due to no imports, our stock is about to end. Even wholesalers, who imported the raw material prior to the lockdown, have increased the rate manifold. — RL Sharma, senior vice-president, Haryana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association
As per the pharma industrialists, around 70 per cent raw material is imported from China, but it has been stopped due to Covid and unrest between the two nations. The stock of raw material is about to dry in most of the industries and that may lead to a shortage of medicines in coming days in the state.
RL Sharma, senior vice-president, Haryana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, said the wholesalers in the country, who had imported the raw material prior to the lockdown, had increased the rates manifolds of APIs like paracetamol, amoxicillin, azithromycin, cefuroxime axetil and others, forcing the industrialists to make the purchases on higher prices. “We used to purchase potassium clavulanate at Rs 15,000 per kg before the lockdown, but now we have to purchase it at Rs 19,000 per kg due to the shortage. Similarly, we are purchasing cefuroxime axetil at Rs 15,000 per kg, while earlier it was priced at Rs 9,000 per kg. Azithromycin is being procured at Rs 15,000 per kg while earlier it was available at Rs 7,000 per kg,” he added.
Raman Gupta, general secretary, Karnal Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, said there were more than 200 pharmaceutical industries in the state and most of them were facing a shortage of raw material. He said the government should work on providing better platform to the raw material manufacturing units in the country. He said the production cost had increased, but they cannot hike the rates of medicines due to the drug price control policy.
The association members urged the government to develop a pharma park for raw material in Karnal or Panipat. “If there is a facility of producing raw material locally, we will not have to depend on China for it,” said Robin Mehndiratta, member of the Karnal association.
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