As of now, the United States Of America is leading in the number of confirmed cases in the world with 434,791 positive cases and 14,802 deaths. While there have been several
contradictory studies and results regarding the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine on those patients who have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, the President of the united states Donald Trump has continuously been claiming that it is a miracle drug and a potential cure.
Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the use, it has imposed its emergency powers to increase production and supply due to the on-going pandemic and has started the trial usage on patients in New York.
Hydroxychloroquine is an off-patient anti-malarial drug that is often also used to treat
auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The use of this drug has been debunked by two studies in France and emphasized the severe dangers of the use. However, after Trump’s claim of it being used successfully to treat patients, several countries including Brazil and the US placed large orders with India for the supply of the drug.
According to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, Indian is the largest manufacturer of the drug and accounts for almost 70 percent of the production of the world.
India had recently put a ban on the export of the drug, as well as other medical supplies such as ventilators, due to the extreme shortages faced by the Indian medical sector and lack of domestic production.
However, recently as the number of cases in the US continues to spike, the President Donald Trump had openly threatened India to lift the ban. Failure to do so could result in retaliation on their part. Trump has placed an order of more than 29 million doses of the drug to be imported into the US.
In response to the arm twisting of the sole superpower, the Central Government lifted the ban and promised the export of the drug to not just the US but also to other countries in these times of need.
Trump thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his swift actions and response to the US
demand by stating that extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends and went on to thank Modi for his leadership skills. Trump went on to promise that this deed would not be forgotten.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi replied to the tweet with, “Fully agree with you President
@realDonaldTrump. Times like these bring friends closer. The India-US partnership is stronger than ever. India shall do everything possible to help humanity’s fight against COVID-19. We shall win this together.”
Due to the earlier instances of the lack of hydroxychloroquine in the domestic markets due to huge export orders and hoarding by the public, India has clarified that it may impose a temporary ban or limit in the export of the drug to ensure that there is sufficient stock for domestic and local use.
The importance of the drug has skyrocketed as several companies are rushing to engineer a vaccine for the disease. As of now, there are more than 30 investigational vaccines out of which only one has entered human trials. Whether the drug hydroxychloroquine is truly a miracle medicine is yet to be examined and proved. Several are hopeful that the use of the drug will help flatten the curve all over the world.