Even though the biggest pharmaceutical companies are situated in America and Europe, China and India own the maximum global pharmaceutical chains in the world. As all the countries race for inventing the most anticipated vaccine for COVID-19, the responsibility to supply that vaccine throughout the world rests upon China and India’s pharmaceutical supply chains.
The first step in global chains is the APIs – Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients which are the key components of a drug that produce an effect. China has been the largest producer of APIs in the world. It is calculated that Chinese manufacturers account for about 40% of all APIs used worldwide. India, UK, and the US rely on China for more than half of its supply for APIs. This is because, in most of the country, there are stricter environmental controls whereas China has cheaper land, electricity and higher volumes of production
The second stage is a physical process which is known as the development of formulations. Excipient substances are combined with APIs to transform a drug into a consumable form, such as a tablet, liquid, capsule, cream, ointment, or injectable product. India plays a prominent role in the industry’s formulations market. India is by volume the world’s third-largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. The Pharmaceutical Department of the country confirmed supplying 20% of global exports of “generic” drugs. India also has the largest number of plants approved by the FDA outside the US and is estimated to supply 40% of the generic formulations in the US. India is also the main supplier of medicinal goods to countries in the global south. India’s Serum Institute is by volume the largest manufacturer of vaccines worldwide.
Even though the concentration pharmaceutical supply chains in China and India have created concern and criticized by the US, the Uk, and European Union, there is no doubt the world will need them to bring COVID-19 in control. This is because any potential vaccine faces a challenge only being effective, but also requiring enormous manufacturing capacities to reach the majority of the world ‘s population, not. This can be only done by China and India’s pharmaceutical supply chains.