Indian manufacturers of Diagnostic test kits want the government to uplift the ban and allow exports because of shrink in demand from state government and delay in procurement by Indian Council of Medical Research have left them with an excess supply of testing kits. The government has banned exports of testing kits to capture the local demand but now the manufacturer of kits is left with a surplus because of a decrease in local demand.
The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests, known as RT-PCR tests, are the gold standard in diagnosing Covid-19. The demand comes a day after the government lifted the ban on the export of antibody test kits, which check for antibodies of a disease.
“We are stuck with a huge inventory of raw materials/finished products and could suffer huge losses if this inventory of raw material/finished kits is not liquidated in time,” Shesheer Kumar, director of Huwel Lifesciences, a Hyderabad-based maker of RT-PCR kits.
The company cut production to 50,000 test kits a week from 300,000 a week. Huwel and other Indian companies wrote to the Director-General of Foreign Trade to allow them to export excess kits to countries including Bangladesh and Nepal, which have no access to them.
“We have invested in a new manufacturing line for RT-PCR test kits. However, since the demand from the government is low, we are hoping that exports open up,” said Suresh Vazirani, MD of Transasia Bio-Medicals in Mumbai.