The Central government has removed restrictions on the export of 24 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and their formulations, the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry said on Monday. A notice issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry highlighted the 24 pharma ingredients and formulations.
The notice said APIs and formulation made from these APIs are made free for export, with immediate effect. These include Tinidazole, Metronidazole, Acyclovir, Vitamin BI, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. Restrictions on paracetamol have however not been lifted yet.
The government of India lifts restrictions on 24 active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations made from them. These APIs are now allowed to be exported. pic.twitter.com/FBYxT4jw0y— ANI (@ANI) April 7, 2020
On March 6, Union Minister of State for Shipping, and Chemical and Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya had said that the government has imposed short term restrictions on some active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) with regards to coronavirus preparedness.
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 license or permission from the DGFT.
Earlier, there were no restrictions on outbound shipments of these products. APIs are the raw material for pharmaceuticals. India has exported APIs worth about USD 225 million last year. The country's API imports stood at around USD 3.5 billion per year. Out of this, about USD 2.5 billion is from China.
This comes amid a significant global queue forming seeking India's assistance in lifting the export ban on Hydroxychloroquine, a recommended prophylactic for those at high-risk for Covid.