From the Rs 18,372.54 crore worth bulk drug import that India brought in 2016-17 from five significant exporting nations, China is taken into account 66%. This was advised in the Lok Sabha in a written reply by Minister of State, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mansukh L Mandaviya. Germany, the US, France, and Singapore are the other four countries from where India imported bulk drugs.
India imported in Rs 12,254.97 crore worth of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China in 2016-17. India brought in API worth Rs 820.18 crore from the US and worth Rs 701.85 crore from Italy. API imports from Germany and Singapore were at Rs 485.11 crore and Rs 422.01 crore respectively.
The minister advised, “It may be described that most of the imports of bulk drugs /API (are) being done in the country because of economic considerations.”
The import restrictions have been removed as India is a signatory to the WTO and TRIPs agreement included the minister. The minister also advised that India’s total bulk drug imports in 2015-16 from the top five countries were at Rs 21,225.97 crore and were at Rs 19,833.19 crore in 2014-15.
Mandaviya responded to another query describing that the Department of Pharmaceuticals has advised the medical care system organizations, medical market systems and the appropriate organizations of control for categorizing the medical devices. The classification of medical devices is required so as to have different trade margins for different categories for various segments. This has to be done looking at the wide variety and the logistics needed in providing them to patients.
Mandaviya also said, “Industry has suggested that the total trade margins for medical devices could be assigned to make quality medical devices cost-effective. Conversations on the issue with industry led to the need for categorization.” He also told the problem is still being worked with.