The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus 2019 has sharply brought into focus India’s over dependence on China market. Approximately 70% of pharmaceutical API’s are imported from China as Government’s much hyped “Make in India” can not even distantly match the prices with China . The epidemic has resulted in disruption in supplies from China resulting in acute shortages of essential life saving API’s and also causing steep increase in prices of resultant formulations .
The center must step in immediately to arrest the trend in rising prices . An out of box approach is required and the onus lies on Center to get expert opinion from the industry to tackle the crisis . The making of cost effective alternative to Chinese API’s is the need of the hour .It is high time the Government must think of an independent Ministry for pharmaceutical industry . There is a price control on certain life saving formulations . However , there is no control on prices of API’s which are required to manufacture the price controlled medicines . Many manufacturers have stopped producing life saving drugs since it is not viable to them . The MRP’s of some controlled drugs are almost same as the manufacturing cost. This has also led to shortages of these drugs . Unless the situation is dealt on war footing the dream of providing generic medicines at cheaper prices will remain a distant dream . Needless to mention the Government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme will also remain on paper and will be treated by public as one of the many electoral gimmicks served by the Government .