India Revokes Ban on Export of Hydroxychloroquine
- 08 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, India revoked its earlier ban on the export of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which is being used to treat Covid-19.
- U.S. Pressure: The ban on HCQ was revoked by India after U.S. President said that India could invite “retaliation” if it withheld supplies of HCQ.
- Earlier, the government of India placed HCQ on a restricted items list, and later put a blanket ban on any export of the drug.
- India’s Stand: Revocation has been done in view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic.
- Neighbouring Countries: India has decided to licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all its neighbouring countries who are dependent on its capabilities.
- It will also supply these essential drugs to some nations that have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.
- Pre-existing Orders: The government will fulfill the pre-existing orders, mainly to the U.S., Brazil and European countries, as they have made advance payments on their orders.
- Domestic Demand: The orders will be fulfilled depending on the stock position and domestic demand for the drug, which would be continuously monitored.
- The government said that currently it has sufficient stock of the HCQ drug.
- Hydroxy-chloroquine is an oral drug used in the treatment of malaria and some autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Malaria is a disease caused by mosquito bite of female Anopheles and spreads through parasites.
- Autoimmune diseases are in which the body's immune system attacks healthy cells.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.
- Hydroxy-chloroquine against COVID-19:
- Recent studies show that the HCQ drug alone or in combination with azithromycin appears to reduce the virus quickly.
- Further, the study suggests that prophylaxis (treatment given to prevent disease) with hydroxy-chloroquine at approved doses could prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Although the drug has some side effects, it is linked to instances of cardiac arrhythmia and liver damage. Wide use may handicap the people’s ability to fight the disease.