India has withdrawn the ban imposed on export of 12 bulk drugs - raw materials for finished drugs - and essential medicines like antibiotics and vitamins manufactured using them, with immediate effect.
In a notification issued on April 6, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said the ban imposed on the export of these medicines a month ago is no longer in force.
The medicines that are out of the restricted category now are tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, clindamycin and ornidazole.
India's bulk drug production of these 12 medicines is much less than the country's demand, which was met through imports from China. The decision to stop the export of active ingredients was taken after supplies from China stopped due to closure of factories in that country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) outbreak.
The resumption of exports signals the beginning of supplies from China. It also reflects the increasing demand for these medicines in COVID-19 hit countries in Europe and the US.