New Delhi: India relaxed a ban on exports of paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), both used in Covid-19 therapies, and placed them in the licensed category. Doctors and scientists are divided over the efficacy of the drug, used to treat malaria and auto-immune diseases, in combating Covid-19.
The move to ease the export ban followed the recommendation of an expert panel, said officials with knowledge of the matter. The panel led by drug pricing regulator Shubhra Singh had been tasked with assessing the capability and the manufacturing capacity of domestic pharmaceutical companies. ET had reported on Monday that the ban was about to be lifted.
“The decision was taken only after the panel got enough evidence from the companies that we have enough stocks available in the country,” said one of the persons. India is one of the biggest manufacturers of the drug.
Apart from the US, about 30 countries, including South Asian neighbours and key global partners in West Asia, had asked India to lift the ban on hydroxychloroquine exports.