Amid coronavirus pandemic, a top American advocacy group has urged the Indian government to ease regulatory curbs to expedite production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices and other critical healthcare equipment.
US-India Business Council has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week to suggested the Centre to "temporarily relax regulatory barriers that impede the quick production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), medical devices, and other critical healthcare infrastructure and avoid the imposition of export restraints on these products".
India, the world's main supplier of generic drugs, earlier this month restricted export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol - a common pain reliever also sold as acetaminophen, as the coronavirus outbreak plays havoc with supply chains.
It was unclear how the restriction would impact the availability of these medicines in the countries that import from India and also depend on China.
In the US, for instance, Indian imports accounted for 24 per cent of medicines and 31 per cent of medicine ingredients in 2018, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Besides, the USIBC also suggested setting up of a task force within the Ministry of Commerce, Invest India, or elsewhere in the government to coordinate with industry groups regarding the resources, essential goods and services and technical capabilities.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, it urged the government to focus on immediate and rapid-response requirements to ease doing business and ensure the viability of important supply chains, including continued relaxation and flexibility of work from home rules, and temporarily permit the importation of used computer equipment for home-based employees.
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