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India lifts ban on export of paracetamol APIs

The Indian Government has removed the restrictions imposed on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients of paracetamol with immediate effect.

May 29, 2020 11:40 IST
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The Indian government on May 28, 2020 lifted the ban imposed on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of paracetamol with immediate effect. This has made the export of the pharmaceutical ingredients that can be used in COVID-19 treatment free. 

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)in an official notification informed that by exercising its powers under Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 (No 22 of 1992), as amended, the Central government has made the following amendments in Chapter 29 of Schedule 2 of the ITCHS Export Policy amending the notification related to export Policy of Paracetamol API.

The centre’s notification has been amended to remove the restriction on the export of paracetamol APIs, making them export 'free' with immediate effect.

Government bans export of active pharmaceutical ingredients

The Government had imposed export restrictions on 26 pharma ingredients and medicines, including Paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine on March 3, 2020 to secure supplies for local use after the coronavirus outbreak disrupted the industry's supply chain globally. . Later on April 6, the government lifted the ban on 24 APIs and formulations, barring Paracetamol.

The ban on the export of Hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol was also lifted after India ensured that an ample supply of the anti-malarial drug was available for local use in India and the drugs were exported in appropriate quantities to around 87 countries across the globe including the United States. 

India to supply 1,000 tonnes of paracetamol API to Europe

India will be supplying 1,000 tonnes of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) of paracetamol to Europe. The continent has reportedly sought up to 800 tonnes of paracetamol APIs every month. Europe is India's biggest buyer of paracetamol APIs, as it imports around 12,000 tonnes annually.

What is paracetamol?

Paracetamol is a common pain reliever, which is also sold as acetaminophen. It is generally used for mild to moderate pain relief. It is generally considered safe at recommended doses.

Paracetamol was first made in 1877. It features on WHO’s list of essential medicines. It is used as a medication for pain and fever in both the United States and Europe. Paracetamol is available as a generic medication, with brand names including Tylenol and Panadol among others in other nations. 

Background 

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third-largest in the world involume and 14th largest in terms of value. The nation exported formulations made from Paracetamol worth USD 5.41 billion during April-January 2019-20. The figure stood at USD 5.8 billion in the financial year 2018-19.

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