India in a fix over export request for anti-malaria drug

India has already permitted the use of hydroxychloroquine for medical and healthcare workers treating Covid patients

India in a fix over export request for anti-malaria drug

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 6

India is considering requests to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from several world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, for the supply of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine which New Delhi banned for exports just last week. In fact, India has even stopped the export of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) which is said to help patients fight Covid infection.

Apart from Trump who said he would appreciate it if India released the amounts US companies have ordered, Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu made a direct reference to India’s export ban by hoping it would improve pharmaceutical supplies. Other world leaders in their conversations with PM Modi are understood to have couched the need to keep global supply chains of anti-Covid going in indirect language.

India has already permitted the use of hydroxychloroquine for medical and healthcare workers treating Covid patients and that is why it wants to preserve enough stocks of the drug to deal with a surge that has been predicted in the coming week.

India had cancelled the exports on the plea that most of the Indian formulation makers are dependent on Chinese manufactures but this plea is no longer valid after Beijing reported that its plants are back to the original production levels.

In India, the main API makers for this drug are Ipca Laboratories and Zydus Cadila and in its desperation to source the drug, the US has reportedly informed India that it will be willing to overlook a three-year ban by the US Federal Drug Authority in case of one of the companies.

The FDA has approved the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine with the approval at the urging of Trump after a few studies showed a correlation between its application and the improved health of some patients.

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