India restricts export of popular pharmaceutical ingredients: Which medications might be impacted?


There are increasing concerns that the novel coronavirus outbreak might cause drug shortages within the United States. Our pharmacy received notice on March 4, 2020 from one of our wholesalers that India will be restricting the export of 26 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) until further notice. APIs are the active ingredients used to create prescription medications. 

While it is difficult to predict drug shortages, India’s restriction on APIs does have the potential to make drugs made with those APIs less available. The drugs affected by this API restriction include Tylenol and common antivirals (like Acyclovir) and antibiotics (like Neomycin). 

In the following table, our pharmacists have analyzed what over-the-counter and prescription drugs might potentially be impacted by the restriction.  

Table 1
*Drugs highlighted in yellow are carried by Honeybee Health

And in this table, pharmacists broke down the supplements that might be impacted: 

Tabl 2

During a drug shortage, drugs might either become unavailable or prices might increase. This may only be the first in a series of restrictions as the virus continues to spread and impact global supply chains. 

“I’m recommending to all of my patients that they buy a 90-day supply of any important prescription medications—just for peace of mind,” said Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi, pharmacist and co-founder of Honeybee Health

For instructions on how to buy a 90-day supply, you can read our blog post here.

This is especially important for the nearly half of adult Americans with chronic illnesses, which are often managed through the use of daily prescription medications. 

If you would like to learn more, Dr. Jessica is available to answer questions.

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Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi

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