The restricted drugs include paracetamol, antibiotics such as tinidazole and erythromycin, the hormone progesterone, which is used in the contraceptive pill, and and vitamins B12, B1 and B6. The drugs account for 10% of all India’s pharmaceutical exports. India is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of drugs, with the US and Europe heavily reliant on the supply.
India’s pharmaceutical companies source about 70% of their ingredients from Chinese factories, many of which have been shut for weeks owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The closure of airports in China has also impeded supplies reaching India.