US Drug Order to Have ‘Minimal Impact’ on India, Says Indian Commerce Ministry

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New Delhi (Sputnik): US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to boost domestic production of essential medicine – thereby reducing Washington's dependence on China for drugs. The US imported raw material for drugs worth $3.9 billion in 2017, up 25 percent from 2016, according to HIS Markit.

A day after the Donald Trump administration’s order to facilitate the enhancement of domestic production of essential medicines, the Indian Commerce Ministry said there will be “minimal impact” on India from the US president's directive on essential medicines and critical input.

The Indian government also said that the US decision may “benefit India strategically”.

In a statement, the ministry said on Friday, “The objective of the measures are targeted mainly at China due to ongoing US-China hostilities and may even benefit India strategically. As China is almost the single global source for fermentation-based active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the order targets such procurement.” 

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are the basic building blocks of a drug and are considered an essential raw material. India is heavily dependent on China for APIs, as it imports 80 percent of the APIs it requires from China.

Explaining the advantage, the ministry's statement said, “In fact, development of API and critical medicine manufacturing in the USA may be a strategic positive for India in terms of National Security considerations and provide non-China sources.”

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