Widespread city lockdowns and transport restrictions in China during the initial COVID-19 outbreak caused production shutdowns in almost all sectors, including in China’s pharmaceutical industry. The residual constraints are still affecting pharmaceutical suppliers that produce Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), which are an essential component in making medicines. Concerns were expressed in the healthcare industry when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late February confirmed its first case of drug shortage, citing that an API manufacturer in China was impacted by the virus outbreak. Following the FDA’s announcement, India, which hosts a large number of generic drug makers, banned the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients as well as formulations that are used in the making of generic drugs, such as paracetamol and antibiotics.
The scarcity of raw materials due to production stoppages and labor shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the weight of the world’s pharma industry on China. Resilience360 takes a closer look at how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the API production in China, Indian drug makers, and the global pharma supply chain and what short and long term mitigation measures supply chain managers can consider in order to mitigate and minimize the risk.
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