India’s ‘Decoupling’ from China’s API Supply Chain Will be Costly

by Carolyn Mathas

India’s decoupling from China for the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) supply chain will be costly and may mean a price hike for medicines. Some drugmakers in India are attempting to limit their reliance on Chinese contractors that produce drugs used in clinical trials and early-stage manufacturing.

Currently, India imports more than 50% of its APIs from China, a cheaper option than manufacturing them domestically. Some are calling the move not feasible. In 2022-23, India imported $3.18 billion of APIs and intermediates from China, up 1.74 percent from the previous year. There is a growing attempt from the Indian side to reduce reliance on Chinese imports.

While India remains an important trading partner, the company is expanding exports to other markets, including some European countries and Japan, which are now taking a higher share in the API trade, the person said.

According to a Chinese expert, instead of  “decoupling,” China and India, both crucial contributors to the global medicine supply chain, should collaborate and expand cooperation for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Most of the “decoupling” news regarding China and other countries is often seen regarding technology.

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