Shooting prices of API: ASSOCHAM seeks Govt’s intervention

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 4: ASSOCHAM today said that when the country is fighting the second wave of COVID-19, the Pharma sector is facing shooting prices and shortage of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), as 85% of API comes from China.
The issue was chaired by ASSOCHAM Northern Region in an online meeting chaired by Vivek Atray, Chairman ASSOCHAM Regional Council on Policy Advocacy Initiatives. In the meeting, which was attended by the chairman of all state development councils of Northern states, the participants sought Government intervention in clearing the bottleneck in import from China.
“Such practices are not acceptable during these challenging times when the whole country is fighting a battle against the COVID pandemic. We urge an immediate intervention from authorities to take necessary action against this practice,” said A S Mittal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Northern Region Development Council.
Atray said the drugs for which the raw material cost has gone up multifold also includes Paracetamol (Price Rs 350 to Rs 790 per kg), Propylene Glycol (Rs 140 to Rs 400 per kg), Ivermectin (Rs 18,000 to Rs 52,000 per kg), Doxycycline (Rs 6000 to Rs 12,000 per kg) and Azithromycin (Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per kg).
Jitender Sodhi, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Himachal Pradesh State Development Council & Chairman and Managing Director, Ayush Group of Companies India said Pharma grade raw materials should be supplied to manufacturers uninterrupted through provision of special passes.
He said Asia’s biggest pharmaceutical hub, Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN), producing several primary life-saving, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and COVID-19 drugs, is facing problem in procuring active pharmaceutical ingredients, 85 percent of which comes from China.
“The unprecedented price hike and shortage of raw material due to various reasons has resulted in a huge demand and supply gap for these drugs. The Government should intervene to streamline the availability and the transportation of raw material,” said Manik Batra, Chairman, ASSOCHAM J&K Development Council and Director, Batra Group.
“The entire country is facing a difficult time. Government should intervene and control the rising cost of raw materials of Pharmaceuticals. Subsidies in raw material and transport can be a big help,” Vijay Sharma, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Haryana State Development Council and Director, Jindal Stainless.