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Govt mulls export restrictions on 12 essential drugs

To ensure there is no shortage of essential drugs in India due to the lockdown in China’s Hubei’s province, the government is considering putting a stop to the exports of 12 essential drugs. China’s Hubei’s province is not only the epicenter of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, but also a major supplier of 80-85% of raw material or active pharmaceutical ingredient used to make medicines.

This moves comes in the wake of the suggestion offered by an eight-member expert committee constituted by the government (to gauge availability of medicines in the country) to impose such a ban. The 12 drugs identified for the purpose include antibiotics like chloramphenicol, neomycin, metronidazole, azythromicin, clindamycin; vitamin B1, B2 and B6; as well as hormones like progesterone used during pregnancy and in menstrual related problems. It has also advised the government to invoke provisions of the Essential Commodities Act and launch a strong vigil against hoarders and any kind of artificial dearth of medicines.

“We have finalised the report and will submit it to the government by Tuesday,” a panelist stated.