Reed Smith Client Alerts

On Monday, April 6, 2020, only two days after announcing a total export ban on hydroxychloroquine (HC), and only one month after imposing export restrictions on 26 other pharmaceutical products, including paracetamol and a number of antibiotics, a spokesperson for India’s Foreign Ministry stated that India would allow exports of those products in “appropriate quantities” to “neighbouring countries” and “nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.”1 While India’s announcement has been reported as a lifting of export restrictions, the actual impact of India’s announcement is unclear, and it remains to be seen how quickly India will begin actually exporting those products again, to whom, and whether that will include private purchasers.

Authors: James P. Duffy IV Iqbal Hussain

Medication bottles full of pills

India bans the export of 26 pharmaceutical products including paracetamol

India is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs. It accounts for approximately 20 percent of the world’s generic drug supply,2 and accounted for almost 25 percent of U.S. imports in 2018, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.3

As our March 6, 2020 client alert explained, on March 3, 2020, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) announced that it had restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical products, including paracetamol and several antibiotics, to protect India’s domestic supply in the face of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) shortages from China.4 At the time of the announcement, the DGFT stated that the restrictions would continue “till further orders” were issued.5