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15/02/2020 03:04pm

China's coronavirus paralyses pharma MSMEs in Baddi

image China's coronavirus paralyses pharma MSMEs in Baddi

New Delhi, Feb 15 (KNN) China's coronavirus has  paralysed Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing companies as they depend heavily upon imports from China.

There are many items that have suffered due to the deadly epidemic that has hit China but pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are one of the most affected ones especially in Himachal Pradesh as they are facing acute shortage of raw materials from China following the coronavirus outbreak.

The domestic pharmaceutical industry imports more than 65 per cent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China but due to coronavirus outbreak there, the imports have been halted since mid-January.

To get in more details, KNN India spoke to Baddi Barootiwala Nalagarh Industries Association (BBNIA) President Shailesh Agrawal and Himachal Drug Manufacturers Associaions (HDMA) president Dr Rajesh Gupta who were of the view that if it doesn't stop, many units in Himachal engaged in medicine manufacturing will be closed.

Sharing his views on the recent scenario in the pharmaceutical industries, BBNIA President said that the imports have been affected due to this virus and it will create more ruckus, if doesn't stop soon.

''Pharmaceutical industry here in Baddi is facing trouble to due to lack of APIs which has been decreasing on daily basis. There is no doubt that it will not create a problem, definitely it will,'' he said.

Demanding the work of the Drug Park to start immediately on fastrack mode in order to stop such dependency on imports from China in the coming years, he said, ''Today, its coronavirus tomorrow it will be something else, so we urgently need a drug park to avoid such situations and happenings.''

Commenting further on the drug park which was announced in 2016 to drug park at Baddi to reduce dependence on China for APIs, he said there are issues like land acquisition which has now be solved and  in the coming years the park will be setup.

On the other hand, HDMA president Dr Rajesh Gupta said that the pharma industry is dependent on imports from China on a large scale and due to prolonged delay in procuring raw material, there is apprehension that manufacturing would be hit.

“First there was the Chinese New Year and there was no supply for a fortnight in January. Now this virus outbreak has hampered the import of raw material,” he said.

Gupta also alleged that due to black marketing in last fifteen days has been happened in the raw material, so whatever, the stock is available is almost nil.

''Manufacturers are dependent on China for 85% of the imports. They keep an inventory of more than 30 days so production has not stopped but the crisis can loom if the situation continues to be the same after March,” he added.

Gupta also stated that due to the coronavirus incident the China is lockdown for one month and today is also declared another 15 days lock down.

''So, once the China has 45 days lock down so our pipeline has already broken almost. Definitely, once our pipeline broken then many of manufacturing units will be close down in March and April for 10 day or 15 days depending on the raw materials availability,'' he avowed.

''Our staff and manufacturing will be liquidated. We have only stock of 15 to 30 days and these things not happening only in Himachal, this is happening across the India in pharma industries,'' he added.

''We all Indian manufacturers have been affected badly due to the black marketing of the raw materials,'' he concluded.

So far, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak stood at 1,488 with a sharp jump in the number of confirmed cases at over 65,000.

The situation in China remains critical with 121 news deaths on Friday while Japan registered its first death, the third fatality outside China.

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