COVID-19 Crisis in India Threatens Global Drug Supply
India’s surging COVID-19 cases threaten to derail the global drug supply as the world’s largest producer of generic drugs is unable to secure critical raw materials.
The crisis has serious implications for the U.S., where an estimated one in every three generic pills is manufactured by an Indian supplier and the FDA calculates that 90 percent of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.
India, which receives 70 percent of its raw materials from China, was hit on April 26 with a 15-day suspension of inbound cargo flights by China’s state-owned Sichuan Airlines.
The airline resumed shipments last week, but the temporary suspension underscored the precarious nature of the global supply chain, as India is heavily dependent on imports of starting materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients.