India lifts ban on export of medicines
Kathmandu, April 7
India has lifted the ban on the export of 24 types of drugs and its raw materials, except paracetamol.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade of India issued a notice on Monday lifting the earlier ban on the export of the 24 types of raw materials necessary to manufacture various types of medicines.
On March 3, India had banned the export of 26 types of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are used to produce paracetamol, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir and vitamin B1, B6, B12, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin salts, neomycin, clindamycin salts and hormones, such as progesterone, which are essential during pregnancy and menstruation.
The Indian government has stated that its earlier move followed disruption in the supply of raw materials from Hubei in China for the past two months. Hubei is a major supplier of APIs used in several medical formulations.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has also lifted the ban on the export of raw materials used to make medicines.
However, the decision was made by keeping the ban on paracetamol and another drug which has not been mentioned.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and the Department of Customs (DoC) informed that they have received the notice on India’s decision to allow export of medicines and its raw materials that were earlier banned.
Suman Dahal, director general of DoC, said that India’s decision came through the Indian customs. “If any Nepali importer is willing to import raw materials, we will facilitate them by clearing the customs procedures as quickly as possible,” he said.
Narayan Prasad Dhakal, director general at the Department of Drug Administration, said that the Indian move will help in regular import and supply of essential drugs in Nepal. “However, our drug importers and suppliers have said that they have enough stock of medicines and their related APIs for up to two months,” he informed.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 08, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.