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Price of paracetamol rises 40% in India as Coronavirus shuts China

India, one of the largest suppliers of generic drugs to the world and home to about 12% of all manufacturing sites catering to the US market

New Delhi: India, the world’s second-most populous country, is facing the severe effects of shutdowns in China with the production of medicines to mobile phones being hit as supply chain disruptions prolong.

The most commonly used analgesic, prices of paracetamol, has jumped by 40% in India, while the cost of azithromycin, an antibiotic used for treating a variety of bacterial infections, has risen by 70%. Currently, the pharma industry could face shortages in finished drug formulations starting April if supplies aren’t restored by the first week of next month said Pankaj R Patel, chairman of Zydus Cadila.

The coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people and stoked fears of a broader slowdown in China, has disrupted global supply lines after factories there slowed production and people were restricted from moving in and out of the country. As manufacturers based in China restart factories, nations such as India that depend heavily on imports of some raw material and intermediate goods from the mainland continue to face uncertainty.

According to Pankaj Patel a substantial increase in prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients- the basic substance used to make drugs- in the short- to medium-term.

India, one of the largest suppliers of generic drugs to the world and home to about 12% of all manufacturing sites catering to the US market. India relies on China for as much as 80% of API requirements. Pharmaceutical isn’t the only sector hit by China’s production pause.

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