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anti-malarial drug - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
anti-malarial drug

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE EXPORTS BANNED

What’s in news?

The central government banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine.

Key data’s:

  • 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.

About hydroxychloroquine:

  • 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:

https://www.iasipstnpsc.in/endemic-disease/

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/coronavirus-india-government-bans-export-anti-malarial-drug-hydroxychloroquine-1659347-2020-03-25

https://english.manoramaonline.com/news/nation/2020/03/25/covid-19–govt-bans-export-of-anti-malarial-drug-hydroxychloroqu.html

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