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HomeIndiaPharma API imports from China handicap India’s security: Madras HC

Pharma API imports from China handicap India’s security: Madras HC

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Chennai, Oct 9 : The Madras High Court has observed that dependence on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) handicaps India in responding to security and other breaches by the Communist country.
“This dependency handicaps us in responding effectively to security and other breaches by the neighbour. It also makes our patients to more often contend with spurious and substandard drugs and placing them in a vulnerable prospect of going without medicines if tensions escalate between the two countries, especially after the Galwan Valley tussle,” the court said.
According to the court, the economic advantage of importing APIs has led India to lose its scientific edge and self-reliance in APIs and India now thrives as a mere Finished Dosage Hub, that is, a country that imports its API requirements and bundles them into finished dosages.
At one stage, even the National Security Advisor (NSA) had cautioned the government on the national security dangers on account of this excess import dependence on a single nation, the court said.
The High Court observations came while it ordered to set up a five-member committee to ensure that the twin goals of enabling a private company Vinkem Labs Ltd to become a global player to earn foreign exchange for the country and also ensure self-reliance of India in cancer drugs.
In its order dated September 30, the court said that a committee shall be constituted, comprising one member each from the Ministries of Pharmaceuticals and Finance not below Joint Secretary-rank; Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, government of Tamil Nadu; one member from Bank of India and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) not below the rank of Senior General Manager; and NL Rajah, the amicus curiae appointed by the court.

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