Indian Government Decides to Eliminate Tax on Drugs & Food Imports

18 April 2023
India Import

Nearly 70-90 million people could benefit from the government's decision to release food and drugs imported for the treatment of all unusual disease therapies from basic customs duties. This move from the Government is indeed worthwhile when such medications were imported for personal use. It is estimated that this exemption will result in considerable cost savings for the ministry and will have indeed a great relief for Indian patients."

According to the National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021, the disease would be Wilson's disease, spinal muscular, cystic fibrosis, Pompe disease, and more. There are expensive medications and foods required for the treatment of these diseases, and they must be imported. Now the drugs will be easily available for the treatment of rare diseases to control. This policy benefits the victim with financial help as well.

The government's move on exemption derives from reports that numerous Indian families have to step up to raise money through online fundraising campaigns to receive high-priced medicines.

Presenting data of India Imports drugs in other top countries without claiming any tax over the same.

India Import Drugs from top countries

The evaluation states are USD 2,738 million in 2021 while in 2022 there is USD 3,337 million. There is deterioration between the stats of 2022 as compare to 2021.


Value USD Million

United States






















What are the details of the new duty exemption?

The Centre Government grants a tax exemption for drugs, medicines, or food used for distinct medical emergencies, not for normal medicines.

Presently, the individual importer must obtain a certificate from the district medical officer or civil surgeon for being eligible for this exemption, according to a finance ministry statement.

How much does the tax on life-saving drugs and medicines cost?

There is 10% rebate for drugs and medicine. Also, there are 5% rebates or nil applied in a few segments of vaccines & lifesaving drugs.

There was the official agreement of reducing the tax rate on ample life-saving drugs in September. The drugs for life-saving drugs are Zolgensma and Viltepso which are used in dealing with patients with spinal muscular atrophy. They are bit expensive though helpful in healing the disease quickly.

What Steps are required to avail the Government policy for funding drugs?

The implementation of Government policy initiates with the provision of incentives to pharmaceutical companies to progress new treatments. They will also consider the reimbursement to patients who want expensive drugs as per the disease.

Those steps would be after the verification:

There is an offering of an advanced process for out-and-out submission and marketing exclusiveness for the firm’s products. This is when there is profit once production values are considerable

The drug's availability must certify that they are subjectively safe to process the patient’s medicines.

Few Countries Involvement in reimbursement programs for patients

The counties like Canada have patient reimbursement plans. There is an example of drugs received by the patients in this program. Federal funding should be allotted for the drugs used for rare diseases in reimbursement programs. A comprehensive budget requires a responsible strategy for every drug supply to prevent inadequate funds. This strategy from the counties helps to support programs for the upcoming costs to analyze funding consequences for the better availability of the reimbursement. 

Planning for the Future Framework

With a convincing strategy and infrastructure, the policy framework for drugs for rare diseases in developed countries can be improved. Achieving the goal of the population percentage grounded on clinical data is also one of the essential steps. Forwarding the framework development for the support of achieving fair health care for the people involves enlarged approachability to real treatment.

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