COVID-19 is widely acknowledged as a turning point in our understanding of medication supply hazards, but will it drive efforts to establish local chemical and API sources as a “matter of national security”? Pharma businesses have been painfully conscious of their reliance on complex supply networks in the previous 12 months. As a result, the pandemic has finally persuaded all stakeholders to improve supply chain resilience in the future.
Lower costs have been a significant factor in relocating a large portion of manufacturing capacity to China and India in the last ten years or more. As a result, we’ve witnessed significant growth in manufacturing volumes in these nations. We know that about 40% of registered API sites are in India or China, according to FDA statistics from 2019.
Even if API or fine chemical manufacturing were more regionally or locally based, raw materials for these businesses might not be available in these places. The reality that raw material availability and pricing are critical considerations in where pharmaceutical manufacture occurs appears to be something we’ll have to deal with.