Netanyahu makes special request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: To help Israel fight Coronavirus Pandemic, India lifts ban on export of pharmaceuticals
   15-Mar-2020

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India will continue to supply pharmaceuticals to Israel despite the ban on drug exports. The ban was lifted following a special request by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
India is the world’s main supplier of generic drugs. The country has restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol, a common pain reliever also sold as acetaminophen, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world.
 
Explaining the restrictions on the export, Indian director-general of Foreign Trade, Amit Yadav on March 3, said, “Export of specified APIs and formulations made from these APIs... is hereby ‘restricted’ with immediate effect and till further orders.”
 
However, in a rare gesture, India has exempted Israel from the restrictions following the request made by Netanyahu. Israeli Health Ministry deputy director-general Prof. Itamar Grotto told an Israeli media on Friday that India has agreed to make an exception and permit exports to Israel, but could not confirm whether a similar request regarding the export of thousands of N95 facemasks has been approved.
 
“An exception has been granted and drug procurement processes are currently being carried out,” Grotto said. “The Indians have agreed to exempt Israel.”