HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE EXPORTS BANNED
What’s in news?
The central government banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine.
- Exports ban: Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, with immediate effect to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine in the domestic market – but allowed in some cases.
- The export of the medicine were allowed on humanitarian grounds on case-to-case basis on the Ministry of External Affairs’ recommendation and such exports were allowed from the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) /export oriented units.
- Export banned by: The export of the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine was banned by an arm of the commerce ministry called the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) – deals with the export and import related matters.
- Recommendation given by: To treat the coronavirus cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) constituted National Task Force for COVID-19 has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating the healthcare workers handling suspected cases or confirmed coronavirus cases.
- Approved by: The protocol and the drug was approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for restricted use in emergency situations.
- Rising demand: The demand for the hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were raised after US President Donald Trump’s comment on twitter about its potential to treat the COVID-19.
- Amended the rules: For the ban, government made amendments in Schedule 2 of the ITCH Export Policy related export of Hydroxychloroquine and its formulations.
- Hydroxychloroquine is a quinoline medicine used to treat or prevent malaria – a parasitic disease common in the regions such as Africa, South America, and Southern Asia.
- Even though this drug treat malaria, it is not effective against all kinds of malarial strains.
- It is taken by mouth and now recommended for the treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Other uses include treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.
Data to know:
- Recent ban: Before few days, India banned exports of host of medical devices including sanitisers, all types of ventilators and surgical masks.
- Reported cases: India has reported about 536 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths till date.
Links to note: