CDC removes guidance from website on drug touted by Trump

US President Donald Trump meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2019. — AP

US President Donald Trump meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2019. — AP

India will supply two key drugs - paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine - being used to treat Covid-19 patients to countries that have been "badly affected" by the pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said yesterday.

The move follows a conversation between Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the American president requested that his country be supplied with hydroxychloroquine. But the $60,000 purchase of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets from the company Premium Rx National came on March 31-in the midst of a worsening outbreak at the federal correctional facilities that the bureau oversees and days before President Trump announced that he was stockpiling millions of pills of the drug. "Thank you Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!"

India is a net exporter of many generic drugs and a lot of them land in the US.

On Sunday, he said, "We bought a tremendous amount of ... hydroxychloroquine, which I think is, you know, it's a great malaria drug". Is it really effective against coronavirus?

In similar vein, Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) Executive Director Ashok Kumar Madan said: "India needs around 24 million tablets per year as on date for the three indications -- malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, it was being used".

"I told him we are all together under your leadership", he said. The government has said that current stocks are adequate to service domestic demand and export commitments, but it is monitoring the sale of the drug.

China's Wuhan ends its coronavirus lockdown but elsewhere one begins
In the last 24 hours, only 32 cases of infection have been reported, all of the infected are people who returned from overseas . But weeks into February, the virus still showed no signs of abating with thousands of infections reported day after day.

Mumbai: Zydus Cadila, one of the two largest manufacturers of key Covid drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), has ramped up its production by almost 10X to 30 metric tonnes (15 crore tablets of 200mg) per month in view of the huge spike in demand expected due to rising cases of Covid-19.

A study, based on the clinical analysis of 130,000 cases from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and South Korea, has already suggested that the use of hydroxychloroquine for those infected with Covid-19 is safe.

Regardless of the efficacy of the drug against this particular virus and the possible after-effects like heart arrhythmia it has been known to cause, India's duty is to allow the free sale of HCQ to friendly nations, especially as it handles 70 per cent of the world's production of this drug.

The job power for Covid-19 has beneficial the usage of hydroxychloroquine for infections amongst "asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19" and "asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases". We would therefore discourage any speculation in this regard or any attempts to politicise the matter, Srivastava further added.

Following the MEA's statement yesterday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "Friendship isn't about retaliation". "I may take it", he had said last week. During the same period exports of formulations made from hydroxycholoroquine was at $5.50 billion.

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