indica News Bureau-
Right after India agreed to start the export of Hydroxychloroquine to USA, an Indian American-owned pharma firm has also pledged to donate 3.4 million Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to some of the key COVID-19 battleground states, including New York and Louisiana.
Owned by Chirag and Chintu Patel, the New Jersey-based Amneal Pharmaceuticals, is one of the largest US-based manufacturers of Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate in the country, across several manufacturing sites. The two philanthropists have pledged to increase the production of the drug and expect to produce approximately 20 million tablets between now and mid-April to fight coronavirus.
By Tuesday the deadly virus had claimed more than 12,800 lives in the US.
Amneal has already donated two million tablets of 200mg Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate to New York, and one million to Texas to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It is ready to provide more as needed. It is also donating and providing products directly to hospitals across the country, the company said, reported First Post.
The company added that tablets will be made available nationwide through Amneal’s existing retail and wholesale customers, as well as through direct sales to larger institutions in need.
Amneal has also announced a donation of 400,000 Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to Louisiana.
“All of us at Amneal are committed to supporting our communities in the global fight against COVID-19,” said Chirag and Chintu Patel, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Amneal.
“We are working with urgency to assist the hardest-hit states and hospitals around the country to benefit as many patients as possible during this critical time,” they said in a joint statement, issued by the Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Landry added, “It is important we all work together to help solve the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. We must come together as Louisianans and as Americans. This donation from Amneal demonstrates their strong effort to be a good corporate citizen in our nation.”
According to Louisiana State Government, Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets manufactured at Amneal are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
Hydroxychloroquine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of COVID-19; but it has been identified as a possible treatment for it, and the US government has requested its immediate availability.
“This is a crucial time in the global fight against COVID-19,” Chirag and Chintu Patel said in a company press release.
“With an existing supply of Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate and our ability to quickly accelerate production, we are humbled to be able to assist the hardest hit states and hospitals around the country to benefit as many patients as possible,” the two brothers said.
Landry said that Amneal’s donation is one step toward trying to find treatments and cures for this epidemic.
“Right now, there are no silver bullets. We must remain vigilant against the spread of this virus,” he said.
Further, after India lifted the ban on export of hydroxychloroquine, President Donald Trump praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision, calling him “great” and “really good”.
The change in tone came after Trump confirmed that the first shipment of a total of 29 million doses of the drug was on its way from three factories in Gujarat to the US.
In a telephonic interview with Fox News, Trump said, “I bought millions of doses… more than 29 million. I spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, a lot of it comes out of India. I asked him if he would release it. He was great. He was really good.”
Earlier on Monday, during a press briefing at the White House, Trump said he would be “surprised if he (Prime Minister Modi) would” stand firm over his ban on the export of the drug, warning India of repercussions of the decision.
“I didn’t hear it was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries (but) I spoke to him yesterday and we had a very good talk… I said we’d appreciate you allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come… there may be retaliation,” Trump had said, on Sunday, referring to his conversation with PM Modi over phone.