India bans export of Hydroxycholoroquine, ICMR warns not to take it without doctor’s prescription

The Commerce Ministry of India has banned the export of anti-malarial drug – Hydroxychloroquine and the formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine which is said to have a positive effect in treating Covid-19. The ban came into effect on Wednesday (25.3.2020)

At the same time the Ministry also mentioned in a statement that export made to fulfill a humanitarian cause recommended by the Government. The ban does not apply to the factories in DGFT’s Special Economic Zones. If there are proper arrangements made on or before 25.3.2020 for the export, then such prior obligations will be honored, sources said.

Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has warned that people should not use Hydroxycholoroquine without being prescribed by doctors. Senior Scientist of ICMR have also said that taking Hydroxycholoroquine without advice of doctors could cause severe side-effects.

Hydroxycholoroquine received a hype after US President Donald Trump referred to a study made in France where some people with Covid-19 have been cured through the drug. Bloomberg mentioned that this drug was given to 40 Covid-19 patients in France who were hospitalized. It was reported that the drug was able to clear the virus from the patients’ bodies. However, the findings of the study has not been approved by any agency of the government.

There are serious aftereffects of this drug and in other places where anti-malarial drugs were tried to see whether it could cure patients, the side-effects were severe and the cure was not guaranteed.

Leading infectious disease expert in US Anthony Fauci and other scientists have appealed to the public to not take such drugs until larger clinical trials are made to evaluate the potency of the drug and its effects.