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Gireesh Babu, New Delhi December 17 , 2021
India has exported active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) including bulk drugs and drug intermediates worth $2.47 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which is around 57 per cent of the total API exports from the country in the previous year. The API exports over the three years from 2018-19 has reported a growth of 13.1 per cent.

According to the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India has exported APIs worth $2.47 billion during the period from April to October, 2021. This is almost 57 per cent of the $4.40 billion export registered during the 12 month period from April 2020 to March, 2021.

The exports has seen a growth from $3.89 billion 2018-19, to the $4.4 billion in 2020-21, though it has seen a slight decline in the year 2019-20, when it was reported at $3.87 billion.

“APIs such as diloxanide fur oats, cimetidine, famotidine, heterocyclic compounds, other antibiotics and erythromycin and its derivatives, together account for approximately 50% share in the total value of India’s API exports,” said Anupriya Patel, minister of state in the ministry of commerce and industry recently in the Lok Sabha.

Responding to a question, she said the no country-wise restrictions have been imposed on import of APIs in the country.

It may be noted that the country has registered the highest value of exports in drugs and pharmaceuticals in the year 2020-21, at $24.4 billion in, which was the kind of growth that happened after eight years.

Pharmaceutical exports have registered growth in the last few years, following a 2.92 per cent growth it registered for the year 2017-18, at $17.28 billion. The year 2018-19 has seen a growth of 10.72 per cent to $19.13 billion compared to the previous year, 2019-20 with a growth of 7.57 per cent to $20.58 billion, before hitting an eight year high or 18.19 per cent growth to $24.47 billion in the year 2020-21.

However, the country has been facing challenges in terms of availability of APIs, intermediates and key starting materials (KSMs), and depended on China for many of the key ingredients. In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic impacting global supply chain for various materials including the key raw materials for essential medicines and the resultant price increase, the Government of India has decided to increase the domestic production of APIs, drug intermediates and KSMs, also to reduce India’s dependency on other countries for critical inputs and bulk drugs in the long run

This include the scheme on promotion of bulk drug parks for financing common infrastructure facilities in three bulk drug parks with financial implication of Rs. 3,000 crore for next five years, production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical KSMs/drug intermediates and APIs and for domestic manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, among others, said the Minister in Lok Sabha.

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