The Centre has placed the order after ICMR recommended hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication for Covid-19 high risk group. The country’s largest manufacturers of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) — Ipca laboratories and Zydus Cadila — have bagged orders from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to supply around 10 crore tablets.
India is a leading player across the globe in the manufacturing of HCQ with Ipca laboratories, Zydus Cadila and Wallace Pharmaceuticals as top pharma companies.
At present, the country’s production capacity is 20 crore tablets every month.
“We are capable of producing 40 metric tons of HCQ every month (which means 20 crore pills of 200 mg). The drugmakers have built good production capacities as it is also used for rheumatoid arthritis,” said Shubhra Singh, chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
“We have confirmed that there are enough stocks across the country and the manufacturers have started supplying the drugs for government orders. If HCQ proves further relevance, its production can be jacked up,” she further said.
The Centre has placed the order after the country’s apex health research body, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommended HCQ be used as a preventive medication for Covid-19 high risk group.
ICMR has also recommended the use of the drug for those involved in the care of ‘suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus and for asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed patients, apart from healthcare workers who are involved in the treatment of Covid-19.’