COVID-19: Bengal Chemicals gets Centre & state clearance to manufacture hydroxychloroquine

Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals in West Bengal got the clearance of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and state Directorate of Drug Control on Friday to manufacture hydroxychloroquine — which is being used as a preventive drug for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The drug is much in demand these days all over the world as it is being said to be effective in reducing the time for recovery of COVID-19 patients.
Some studies have found that the drug is able to decrease the virus levels quicker in combination with azithromycin. However, all these results were obtained under strictly controlled settings.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has, however, cleared its use as a preventive medicine for COVID-19.
Officials of the company have said that they are equipped to produce the drug. But the only problem would be the key raw material quinine which is produced from cinchona tree and also synthetically. As the company does not have its own cinchona plantation, it will have to bring the raw materials from other states which is currently impossible due to the ongoing country-wide lockdown.
At a meeting held on Thursday at the state administrative headquarters Nabanna, chief secretary Rajiva Sinha assured that there is sufficient stock of raw materials for producing hydroxychloroquine in the state and the matter will be taken care of by the government.
He has also asked the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) North Bengal to talk to cinchona planters there about the supply of quinine.


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