Consignment of Hydroxychloroquine from India reaches America

indica News Bureau-

A consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India has arrived in the US, days after New Delhi lifted a ban on the export of the anti-malarial drug to some countries on humanitarian grounds.

India Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu tweeted. “Supporting our partners in the fight
against Covid19. Consignment of hydroxychloroquine from India arrived at Newark airport today, “ he wrote while sharing a picture. Earlier, US President Donald Trump had thanked India for its decision to export the anti-malarial drug which is seen as a possible treatment for coronavirus.

Israeli drugmaker Teva has exported the drug from its Goa plant (under Watson Pharma, a company it had acquired). “The company has exported 2.4 million tablets, and nine metric tons of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) used to make the tablet,” Udaya Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), told Business Line. Bhaskar said he had spoken to company officials in Goa, who confirmed that it had reached the US.

Earlier this week, India at the request of President Donald Trump cleared the export of 35.82 lakh tablets of hydroxychloroquine to the US along with nine metric tons of active pharmaceutical ingredients required in the manufacturing of the drug.

Hydroxychloroquine, used in treating certain types of malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, made international headlines after US President Trump called it a “game-changer” and asked India to release stocks of the drug it had ordered. India had last week ordered a complete stop on the export of the drug, with no exceptions. The situation has since turned around, with the Centre opening the gates for a dozen-odd APIs, besides permitting limited export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol.

The international and domestic surge in demand for hydroxychloroquine comes even as scientific voices call for its restrained use in healthcare workers handling COVID-19 patients or the family of the patient. Doctors have been raising concerns on the drug’s impact on the heart and the eyes. This, even as reports emerge of patients with lupus finding it difficult to get the drug from their chemist, something the government denies.

The value of the consignment is approx USD 2 million.

“US will never forget this great humanitarian gesture by India. Under President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two largest democracies of the world have come together than ever in the past,’ said New York-based Al Mason, a real estate consultant and a Trump supporter.

“A wonderful gesture by India to its friends in need,” tweeted Dr. Sampat Shivangi.

Describing this as a “wonderful gesture”, Steve Filipovic, who works in the construction industry, thanked the Indian Ambassador.


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