All of you must have read about the US President Donald Trump’s possible retaliation message in response to India’s export ban of Hydroxychloroquine tablets, earlier this month. The US president had requested India to relax the ban as the drug was found to be quite useful in the treatment of COVID19 patients. India had revoked its ban on the export of the tablets on 6 April after that. India is the largest supplier of Hydroxychloroquine tablets, which became popular recently owing to its reduced recovery time amongst the COVID19 patients.
India had banned the export of the Hydroxychloroquine tablets in March end after the country had entered its 21-day lockdown from 25 March 2020. India, one of the leading suppliers of generic drugs in the world, had earlier restricted the export of nearly 26 medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients when COVID19 outbreak affected the supply chains. Hydroxychloroquine tablet is an anti-malarial drug that is known to have fewer side effects and can be bought over the counter. Though the drug has undergone only small lab testing, it is found to reduce the clinical recovery time of COVID19 patients. The highly contagious COVID19 disease can cause severe respiratory illness, and there is no known approved treatment or preventive medicines, other than patients given breathing assistance.
Read More About : Is The Indian Democracy Running Downhill?
India and Hydroxychloroquine production
India revoked its more than a week-long export ban of Hydroxychloroquine tablets to the US after President Donald Trump requested for the anti-malarial drug. India, after the review, had repealed the prohibition on drug supply to the US at the beginning of April. The US government thanked India for its timely revocation, as India is the major pharmaceutical partner of the US. The US is currently struggling immensely with Corona cases surging towards a new high every other day.
According to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, India produces almost 70 per cent supply of Hydroxychloroquine tablets all over the world. India has a production capacity of nearly 40 tons of the pills every month, which means 20 crore tablets of 200mg are produced. The ingredients for the drug are received from China, and the supply has been steady despite the pandemic. Currently, three Gujarat-based pharmaceutical companies will supply drugs to the US.
Why did the tablet rise to the limelight suddenly?
The increasing need to find an effective treatment has been driving scientists everywhere frenetic. Few initial positive effects of Hydroxychloroquine is giving hope for the medical fraternity and the very reason why the US president had bought a whopping 30 million doses of Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment purposes in the US. The US Food and Drug Administration has identified Hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID 19 that has shown an exemplary recovery speed when tested amongst corona-affected patients.
Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug quite similar to chloroquine drugs, has a reduced side effect. There have been no studies of human trials of the drug against SARs-CoV-2 virus, but the reduced treatment time has indeed raised the hope for the medical community. This revelation was based on the administering of Hydroxychloroquine on few patients in Wuhan, the epicentre of COVID outbreak, and in France. In France, the drug, along with azithromycin, had reduced the levels of virus in patients quite faster. These studies have prompted several countries to approve the administering of the medication in a controlled setting.
SARS-CoV-2 is known to affect the immune system causing severe cases of pneumonia. HCQ drugs, an interferon blocker, work on weakening the immune system’s response to the viral infections. Hydroxychloroquine’s effective immune cure mechanism has excellent effects on autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The Union Health Ministry of India has moved Hydroxychloroquine drugs to the Schedule H1 category, which can be sold only on prescription. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also cleared HCQ as preventive medicine or prophylaxis by healthcare professionals. HCQ is known to modulate the immune system’s response to infections and protect them in their course of service. Nevertheless, the use of HCQ is also linked to cases of liver damage and Arrhythmia.