The crisis between China and Taiwan could have serious consequences on the supply of vital drugs to Europe, warned pharmaceutical manufacturers in the region, writes Politico.
The president of the Italian company Olon, which manufactures pharmaceutical ingredients, said the crisis surrounding Taiwan could lead to total shortages of some drugs and was a dramatic situation.
Tensions over Taiwan’s status has intensified in recent years. Taiwan is a self-governing island nation, but China claims it as its territory and conducts significant military exercises in the region. The United States promises to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion.
Although it is unknown how Europe would intervene in the conflict, the possibility that the continent’s supply chains will be affected is not small. The Taiwan Strait, which separates the two coasts, is one of the the world’s busiest Tarsus roads and route for transporting drugs and pharmaceutical ingredients.
The possibility of imposing sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, worries people. The CEO of pharmaceutical manufacturer Flamma Group said that if China attacks Taiwan and is sanctioned, the pharmaceutical market will be turned upside down. China is a major producer of older, unbranded drugs routinely used in hospitals. Also, China is an important exporter of key ingredients used in the production of blood pressure drugs and pain relievers.
Over the past 20 years, China has become a pharmaceutical powerhouse, thanks to less environmental regulation and cheap labor. The country dominates the production of pharmaceutical ingredients and is a major supplier to the European pharmaceutical industry.
The data showsthat Europe currently produces only a quarter of the world’s active pharmaceutical ingredients, up from 2000 when it produced half of them, and is increasingly reliant on imports. China and India produce more than half of these ingredients, with India dependent on China for its resources.
This warning from pharmaceutical manufacturers highlights Europe’s vulnerability in relation to the supply of vital medicines and the need to develop the region’s own capacity to produce pharmaceutical ingredients.
The EU seeks to reduce economic dependence on China
It will be discussed at the summit in June