Coronavirus treatment: India banned exports of anti-malaria wonder drug Hydroxychloroquine as demand surges
While health authorities here in the United States are still debating on the effectiveness and safety of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, Indian government made a wise move banning the export of the drug wildly believed by doctors to have saved lives of countless coronavirus patients.
In a statement issued by India Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports will be limited to fulfilling existing contracts, while certain shipments on humanitarian grounds may also be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Hydroxychloroquine and its sister drug chloroquine are touted by US President Donald Trump as a potential Covid-19 treatment.
“The export of Hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine under any ITCHS Code… is prohibited with immediate effect,” the DGFT under the ministry said in the notification. Recently, the national task force for COVID-19 constituted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended hydroxy-chloroquine as a preventive medication.
“Hydroxy-chloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data,” the advisory said.