Monday, 23 May, 2022
HomeIndiaModi govt bans export of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 demand surges

Modi govt bans export of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 demand surges

Although there is no conclusive scientific evidence that hydroxychloroquine can treat Covid-19, US hospitals and consumers have begun stockpiling it.

Text Size:

Tokya: India’s government banned exports of hydroxychloroquine, as global demand surges for the malaria drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment.

Exports will be limited to fulfilling existing contracts, while certain shipments on humanitarian grounds may also be allowed on a case-by-case basis, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Trump has vowed to make the medication widely available to fight the pandemic, calling the drug a “game changer” in the treatment of the coronavirus.

Though there is no conclusive scientific evidence that hydroxychloroquine can treat the infection from the novel pathogen, U.S. hospitals and consumers have begun stockpiling the drug after reports of its efficacy in some small clinical studies — but not in others — began circulating online and in the media. In India, the government is recommending health-care workers take the drug regularly as a preventive measure to avoid contracting the infection while treating Covid-19 patients.

Cadila Healthcare Ltd., the world’s largest maker of an anti-malarial drug, has said it plans to boost capacity more than ten-fold to meet the surging global demand. Sharvil Patel, the Ahmedabad-based company’s managing director, said the company will increase production of hydroxychloroquine sulphate to as much as 35 tons, or about 200 million individual doses per month, from about 3 tons per month currently.

The rush to make this cheap and decades-old medicine easily accessible led the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to lift import restrictions on three plants of another Indian pharmaceutical company, Ipca Laboratories Ltd., on March 20.-Bloomberg


Also read: How do you test for coronavirus? All you want to know about testing kits, process, results


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×