PSU pharma company Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPCL) on Tuesday said it can provide only a maximum of 10 lakh hydroxy-chloroquine tablets due to the shortage of a key component, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API).
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxy-chloroquine for healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed Covid- 19 cases and the asymptomatic household contacts of lab- confirmed cases as a preventive treatment measure.
Bengal Chemicals is possibly the only company from this part of the country having the capacity to produce hydroxy-chloroquine.
“Whatever raw material (API) we have that can be good for only 10 lakh malaria tablets (having hydroxy- chloroquine),” BPCL managing director PM Chandraiah told PTI.
API is the term used to refer to the biologically active component of a drug product such as tablet, capsule.
India imports 80 per cent of API from China, from where the novel coronavirus originated, to meet its requirements.
“In India, only the private sector IPCA produces API and we had been told that we are in the queue and our turn will come in May-June,” he said.
According to the data updated Tuesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases rose to 492, including 446 active cases.