While the Indian and Chinese armies recently engaged in a face off on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Chinese suppliers have raised the price of medical supplies to India despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The hike can be seen in the prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), key starting materials (KSMs), and other drug intermediaries, which has the potential to impact the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
"On an average, the increase in the prices of APIs and KSMs has been around 20 percent compared to the pre-COVID-19 days", says Sudarshan Jain, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a representative body of leading Indian pharmaceutical companies.
According the pharmaceutical body, there has been a 100 percent increase in the price of isopropyl alcohol imported from China. Para amino phenol, a key material in the manufacture of paracetamol, has seen a 27 percent price hike.
India imports 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China. These are the basic building blocks, or raw materials, of medicine.
With the imported APIs, India manufactures key medicines such as paracetamol, metformin, among others, that are used domestically as well as exported to the world market.