Amid fears that India’s ban on export of 26 types of active pharmaceutical ingredients will have a direct impact on the supply of essential drugs in Nepal, the government has assured that there will not be a shortage of medicines.

The government has claimed that the current stock of essential medicines will last three months.

India imposed the ban yesterday to prevent shortage of essential drugs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Indian government has stated that its move follows disruption in supply of raw materials from Hubei in China for the past two months. Hubei is a major supplier of APIs used in several medical formulations.

India has banned export of APIs that are used to produce paracetamol, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir and vitamin B1, B6, B12, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin salts, neomycin, clindamycin salts and hormones, such as progesterone, which are essential during pregnancy and menstruation.

Narayan Prasad Dhakal, director general at the Department of Drug Administration (DDA), said they had enough stock of medicines and their related APIs for up to three months.

Yesterday’s meeting held between DDA and pharmaceutical entrepreneurs decided to take necessary measures to ensure regular supply of medicines and protective gear, such as masks and sanitisers.

At the meeting, pharmaceutical entrepreneurs made a commitment to ensure regular supply of necessary medicines for up to three months based on their current stock.

Meanwhile, the government has formed a high-level panel led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokhrel to take necessary steps to cope with coronavirus outbreak.

The committee stated that the government would ensure that traders didn’t exploit the situation and increased prices of either APIs or medicine formulations.