Himachal Pradesh Drug Controller Navneet Marwaha has remarked that there are no issues to produce hydroxychloroquine since there is sufficient capacity in the State. He added that the firms were increasing production in order to meet the demand for the drug.
Speaking to ANI, he said, "There are 50 drug manufacturers in Himachal Pradesh who are holding product licenses to manufacture hydroxychloroquine tablets. Most of the manufacturers are of small or medium-scale but some have state-of-the-art facilities in Himachal Pradesh and are in a position to cater to the demands."
"Presently, there are 10-12 manufacturers who are manufacturing this drug. But, all those who have product licence can start their production depending upon orders and demands," he added.
Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria. India is the largest producer and exporter of the drug globally. The Central government has received requests from over 20 countries including its immediate neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal for the supply. The Indian pharmaceutical industry has stated that there is enough stock of hydroxychloroquine in the country, and drug firms are ready to ramp up the production to meet domestic as well as export requirements. India manufactures 70 per cent of the world's supply of hydroxychloroquine. Companies like Zydus Cadila and IPCA are the major manufacturers in the country, according to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).
Earlier this week, the government has sanctioned 35.82 lakh HCQ tablets and nine MT of API for the United States while the Trump administration has asked for 48 lakh tablets of HCQ.
On Friday, Kolkata-based Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Company received the license to produce hydroxychloroquine. The Drug Controller General of India allows Bengal Chemical to produce 200 mg and 400 mg hydroxychloroquine tablets, company Managing Director PM Chandraiah said. "We are ready to do the formulation without any profit as a gesture to fight COVID-19," Chandraiah added.