Drugmakers are seeking to limit their reliance on Chinese contractors who produce drugs used in clinical trials and early-stage manufacturing, a move that is benefiting rivals in India, according to interviews with 10 industry executives and experts.

China has for nearly 20 years been the preferred location for a range of pharmaceutical research and manufacturing services due to the low cost and speed offered by contract drugmakers there.

That relationship largely held firm despite a U.S.-China trade war under the Trump administration and supply chain havoc experienced by other industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. But increasing tensions with China have prompted more Western governments to recommend that companies "de-risk" supply chains from exposure to the Asian superpower.