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The Asian country has restricted exports of medicines such as Paracetamol, Acyclovir, and Erythromycin.
To avoid depletion of its national inventories, India, the world's largest supplier of generic drugs, decided to restrict exports of some Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) used to manufacture medicines.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) informed that this measure, which entered into force on Wednesday and will remain until further notice, does not completely prohibit the export of Indian medicines but does establish controls to guarantee the API supply to local markets.
Currently, the U.S. Iran, Italy, and China are among the most important buyers of Indian pharmaceutical products. In these countries, however, the short-run impact of the new trade restriction has not been assessed yet.
The DGFT decision limits exports of 26 APIs and medicines, among which are Paracetamol, a drug used to relieve pain and fever; Acyclovir, an antiviral drug, and the antibiotics Metronidazole, Neomycin, Tinidazole, Ornidazole, Chloramphenicol, Clindamycin, and Erythromycin.
The Indian government also restricted exports of progesterone and vitamins B1, B6, and B12.
The available reserves of these medicines reach for about three months of consumption in India, a country that has 1,250 million inhabitants and a pharmaceutical industry selling medicines for about US$19 billion annually.
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