The regulators in the United States have lifted the restrictions on imports from an Indian pharmaceutical company in a bid to increase the supplies of a malaria drug touted by the US President Donald Trump as “game changer”. According to international reports, in a securities filing, the Mumbai-based Ipca Laboratories Ltd had said on March 21 that the US Food and Drug Administration “has made an exception to import alert” for three of its facilities. It also allowed the supply of tablets as well as raw materials for making chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulphate.
Currently, the US is facing shortages of both drugs which are widely prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Hospitals have reportedly been stocking up the treatments in the recent weeks after reports by certain doctors outside of the US stated that they were effective against the deadly COVID-19. However, there are not any large-scale clinical trials to support the claims.
Trump has said that antimalarial drugs which are currently under investigation to treat the deadly coronavirus could be a “gift from God” despite the warnings by the scientists against over-exaggeration of unproven medicines. While the COVID-19 pandemic is tightening its grip across the world including the US, Trump had said last week that his administration was working to significantly expand access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related compound after the early studies in France and China found that the drugs had helped the patient suffering from the diseases caused by the fatal virus.
While many scientists including Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the US have urged the citizens to remain cautious until larger clinical trials actually validate the smaller studies. But, Trump on the contrary showcased confidence nad demonstrated no such restraint at White House press briefing on March 23 (local time).
The US President said, “The hydroxychloroquine and the Z-Pak, I think as a combination probably is looking very, very good," he said. "There's a real chance that it could have a tremendous impact, it would be a gift from God if that worked it would be a big game changer.” while also quoting the patient who was ill but recovered after taking the drug.