Relief for pharma as Chinese airlines set to resume service

In some relief for Indian pharmaceutical industry and continuity in key raw materials supplies from China, Sichuan Airlines is resuming cargo services to India.

It will restart operations from Chengdu to Bengaluru on May 9 and Chengdu to Chennai from May 12, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India director general Ravi Udaya Bhaskar said, citing a communication from a senior official of the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

The decision is bound to bring cheer to the Indian pharmaceutical industry since its dependence on imports from China is high. Seeking intervention of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, after the airlines stopped operating to India earlier this month, Pharmexcil had said 60-70% of drug intermediates, KSM (key starting materials) and API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) requirements are sourced from China. About 45-50% of all APIs imported feature in the National List of Essential Medicines, it said.

The airlines had communicated that it would be suspending operations to India for 15 days. Highlighting the possible disruption it could lead to, Mr. Bhaskar had said industry fears that it could result in shortage of essential medicines as well as hit exports. Also, it came at a when the industry was grappling with increased freight cost and shortage of containers.

The communication from the Department of Pharmaceuticals said “in addition [to Sichuan Airlines services], there are multiple other cargo operations available from China to India, including charter flights.”

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 1:53:21 PM |

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