Coronavirus impact: Enough stock of hydroxychloroquine in India, says govt

The government on Friday said that there is enough stock of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the country and it is taking all steps to ensure that there is no shortage of the drug in the domestic market.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal said that India has a stock of 3.28 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquine, which is three time more than the projected requirement of one crore tablets in the country for the coming week and that tie-ups have been made for additional supply of 2 to 3 crore tablets for the future need.

“Based on our projected requirement, we need one crore tablets of hydroxychloroquin for the coming one week, while we have 3.28 crore tablets with us today. So we have more than 3 times supply relative to the domestic requirement,” Agarwal said.

India is the biggest manufacturer of the anti-malarial drug that is being touted as game changer in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. “There is enough stock of hydroxychloroquine in the country and we are tracking its demand, availability and production on a daily basis,” National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) Chairman Shubhra Singh said.

India is the world’s largest manufacturer of the drug, which is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, malaria and lupus, she added. “Ensuring the availability of the drug in the country is our first priority.

Only after meeting the demand here, the exports are being done.”

India has an annual installed capacity of around 40 tonnes of active pharmaceutical ingredients of hydroxychloroquine. With this capacity, it can make around 200 million tablets of 200 mg, which can be ramped up, the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) had said.

ICMR approves TB testing machine for coronavirus

As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting tests. The ICMR has validated ‘TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation’ and has recommended it as a screening test, the apex health research body said on Friday. Issuing a guidance on the use of Truenat beta CoV, the ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit. “Earlier studies have shown that virus lysis buffer neutralises Nipah and H1N1 viruses.

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