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Indian-American Pharma firm pledges to donate 3.4 Hydroxychloroquine tablets 

The New Jersey-based Amneal Pharmaceutical will be providing Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to the states that are COVID-19 hotspots including New York and Louisiana. 

Apr 8, 2020 12:56 IST
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An Indian-American Pharma Firm has pledged to donate 3.4 million Hydroxychloroquine tablets, stepping up the fight against COVID-19 in the United States of America. 

The New Jersey-based Amneal Pharmaceuticals, owned by Chirag and Chintu Patel, is one of the largest US-based manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. The firm will be providing Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to the states that are COVID-19 hotspots including New York and Louisiana. 

The United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world with the number doubling almost every day. Currently, the total confirmed cases in the nation stand at 400,540, which includes 365,972 active cases, 21,711 recoveries and 12,857 deaths. 

Key Highlights 

The Indian-American pharma firm has announced that it is increasing its production of Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate at many of its manufacturing sites and expects to produce about 20 million tablets between now and mid-April.

The tablets will be made available across the nation through the company’s existing retail and wholesale customers and direct sales to the larger institutions that require the drug. 

The company will be donating the essential tablets to the US states that are the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The company has already donated about two million Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate 200 mg tablets to New York and one million to Texas for treatment of COVID-19 patients. It has also announced a donation of 400,000 Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to Louisiana.

The company is further ready to provide more tablets as and when required. Besides providing to the states, it is also donating products directly to the hospitals in need across the nation. 

In a joint statement, the CEOs of Amneal emphasised on the need to work together at this time to help resolve the COVID-19 crisis. They said that the company is working to help as many patients as possible during the critical time. 

Hydroxychloroquine Clinical Trials

The Louisiana State University School of Medicine is now working to launch two different clinical trials using hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus treatment. The trials will be launched at the University Medical Center in New Orleans and at the LSU Medical School locations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Following are the two trials:

1. One trial will use Hydroxychloroquine on the critical COVID-19 patients. 

2. The other trial will use the drug as a preventative measure for healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle. 

US President advocates use of hydroxychloroquine 

US President Donald Trump has been advocating the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. He said that the drug would be a game-changer in the global fight against the novel coronavirus. 

Background 

Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate is known as an anti-malaria drug as it was historically used to treat and prevent malaria. It was first synthesized in 1946.

Amneal's Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets have the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Though the drug has not been approved by the FDA for COVID-19 treatment, it has been identified as a possible treatment option. 

The Indian Council of Medical Research’s national task force set up to combat the COVID-19 pandemic had previously recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat high-risk coronavirus cases. 

Following this, India, the largest producer and exporter of hydroxychloroquine, banned the export of the essential drug. However, India lifted the temporary ban imposed on the export of the anti-malarial drug on April 7 to help out the nations most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

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