Govt restores customs duty exemption on 3 drugs

Govt restores customs duty exemption on 3 drugs

Govt restores customs duty exemption on 3 drugs

Within days of withdrawing customs duty exemption on a host of life saving drugs, the government today restored exemption on three of those drugs that are mainly used for treatment of hormonal disorders, growth failure and haemophilia.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in a notification restored import duty exemption on three drugs -- Octreotide, Somatropin and Anti- Haemophilic Factor Concentrate (VIII and IX).

The drug Octreotide is used to treat hormonal disorder, besides symptoms of severe diarrhoea and flushing caused by cancer.

Somatropin is used to treat growth failure in children and adults who lack natural growth hormone. It is also used to treat chronic kidney failure.

Anti- Haemophilic Factor Concentrate (VIII and IX) is a genetic bleeding disorder involving a lack of functional clotting of blood.

Earlier this month, government had withdrawn customs duty exemptions on 74 drugs, including life saving ones used for treating cancer and HIV.

The move was criticised as it would lead to a rise in prices of essential medicines. The government had defended it saying drugs removed from exemption list were capable of being produced in India and such a move would promote domestic manufacturing.

The medicines on which customs duty was imposed included the ones used for treating kidney stones, cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy, life-threatening heart rhythm disorders, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, bone diseases and antibiotic to treat infections.

Besides, drugs used for bacterial infections, leukemia, anaesthetic medication, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus cells, allergies, arthritis, lupus and ulcerative colitis were also removed from the exemption list, which originally had about 300 drugs.