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Indian Pharmaceuticals Boost Production of Anti-malaria Drug Hydroxychloroquine to Deal with Rising Demands

Image used for representation. (Reuters)

Image used for representation. (Reuters)

The government orders came into effect after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommended HCQ as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The demand for anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has increased in India and worldwide to treat COVID-19 patients. To deal with the growing demand, two of the leading pharmaceutical companies for HCQ in India – Zydus Cadila and IPCA laboratories – have boosted the production 10 times on government orders.

Zydus group chairman Pankaj Patel told The Times of India that their company has ramped up the production 10 times to produce 15 crore tablets of 200mg per month. The company is currently helping the government to stock at least 10 crore dosages of the HCQ drug.

The government orders came into effect after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommended HCQ as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also shared the advisory on its official page.

Talking to ThePrint, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)’s chairman Shubra Singh revealed that the country is ensuring enough stocks to deal with the situation. “We are capable of producing 40 metric tons of HCQ every month (which means 20 crore pills of 200 mg). If HCQ proves further relevance, its production can be jacked up,” she mentioned.

While there is no drug or vaccine to treat COVID-19 patients at the moment, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a few drugs as therapeutic options for patients with COVID-19.

As mentioned, Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, both anti-malarial drugs, are currently under investigation in clinical trials for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

A few days back, the United States requested India to lift the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. To help other nations, India has temporarily lifted the ban.


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