As demand for potential coronavirus drugs surges during this pandemic, several countries have banned the export of these drugs. As many drugs and/or their key ingredients are made in a handful of countries, export bans create tremendous problem and potential shortages.
India announced a partial ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine in late March. Following a threatened retaliation from President Trump, the ban was at least partially lifted.
Several researchers are studying the affect of this drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin. One small-sample study in France showed promising, but not definitive results. In addition to potential for treating coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine has been used in the prevention and treatment of malaria for many years.
Video Spotlight: Increase in demand for drugs to treat coronavirus leads to shortages (Mar 23, 2020, CBS Evening News)
This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Global Rush for Trump-Backed Virus Drug Sparks India Export Ban, by Bloomberg News, March 24, 2020; the Japan Times article, After Trump threat, India lifts export ban on COVID-19 treatment drug, by Bloomberg, April 7, 2020; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: aberration/123RF
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