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Coronavirus: Government to fast-track environmental clearance for production of bulk drugs

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2020 Published on March 12, 2020

The Centre will expedite the environment clearance process for projects involved in the production of bulk drugs to avoid shortages in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to media reports.

A memorandum issued early on Thursday said the Ministry of Environment and Forest will fast-track clearances for bulk drug production projects to ensure drug availability.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the expert appraisal committees of all states and union territories have been notified of the same, Livemint reported.

The Ministry had been mulling over the issue of delay in drug production due to clearances, in late February. The issue came up for discussion during a meeting of the Centre-enabled task force formed to look into the availability of APIs, according to the report.

Earlier in March, the Centre had restricted the export of 26 API and drug formulations used as raw materials in the manufacture of crucial drugs, owing to three newly discovered cases of the coronavirus in India.

The Union Minister for Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, while addressing a FICCI conclave on March 5 is reported to have said that there was no shortage of APIs or medicines in the country. He added that the industry had APIs sufficient for another three months of production.

According to the latest reports, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India touched 73 on Thursday.

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Published on March 12, 2020
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