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New Delhi, March 25, 2020
In a significant move, India has banned the export of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug which is believed to work as a medicine for treating coronavirus-infected patients as well.
According to a late night notification by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the export of medication and the composition ingredients used for its manufacturing have been banned.
"The export of Hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine under any ITCHS Code... is prohibited with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Ministry, said in the notification.
Recently, the national task force for COVID-19 constituted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended hydroxy-chloroquine as a preventive medication.
"Hydroxy-chloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data," the advisory said.
Recently, the FDA also freed India's IPCA from import ban so that it can ship unproven COVID-19 treatments. The FDA in 2015 banned products from three IPCA manufacturing facilities.