US President Donald Trump has said the US could "retaliate" if India does not release stocks of a Hydroxychloroquine drug, a "game-changer" in the fight against Covid-19.
What is hydroxychloroquine?
• Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is considered a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD).
• It can decrease the pain and swelling of arthritis. It may prevent joint damage and reduce the risk of long-term disability.
• Hydroxychloroquine is in a class of medications that was first used to prevent and treat malaria.
• It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, some symptoms of lupus, childhood arthritis (or juvenile idiopathic arthritis) and other autoimmune diseases. It is not clear why Hydroxychloroquine is effective at treating autoimmune diseases.
• It is believed that Hydroxychloroquine interferes with the communication of cells in the immune system.
Online demand for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine surged by more than 1,000% after Donald Trump endorsed it as a potential treatment for Covid-19 without providing evidence of effectiveness of drug.
India is one of the world's largest manufacturers of the anti-malarial drug and according to the Indian Drug Manufacturer's association, it has enough capacity to cater to both global and local markets.
Turkey, which has the highest cases of COVID-19 in middle east, has also claimed that the cause of relatively low death toll is the country is due to two existing drugs — the anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine and Japanese antiviral Favipiravir.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved emergency use of Hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients, but has warned it should only be used in clinical trials or under the close observation of doctors, citing an observed risk of heart complications.
There are no proven prescription therapies to treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
According to VA virus study, there are more deaths among those given Hydroxychloroquine versus standard care.
According to a small Brazilian study, patients treated with a high dose of chloroquine appeared to die at twice the rate of those treated with a lower dose of the drug.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world and has posed serious challenges for the health and economic security of millions of people worldwide. However, in such a bleak situation a clinically not approved drug can’t be prescribed as it may further enhance other complexities as it has been claimed by FDA. Any government should restrain themselves from endorsing or promoting such drugs.