This India’s Oldest PSU Pharma Company gets Overnight License to Produce Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an Anti-Malaria Drug to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic

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First Indian Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Pharma Company, Bengal Chemicals, and Pharmaceuticals have got special licensing approval from ICMR to start production of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an anti-malaria drug now found being used to combat coronavirus infection.

This comes even as the West Bengal government is effectively considering restarting tasks at its cinchona ranches in Darjeeling hills. Quinine – the prime element to manufacture Anti-malarial medications – was recently produced using the bark of cinchona trees. Be that as it may, as of late chloroquine – a manufactured medication – is utilized for making the medication.

Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ has taken centre stage , after fundamental preliminaries recommended quicker recuperation and brought down the seriousness of COVID-19. Interest for the medication is on the ascent from nations including that of the United States of America. In India, ICMR has suggested its use for forefront medicinal services laborers.

It is the main open division unit in eastern India that fabricates against malarial medications. It had applied for a permit yesterday, from the Drugs Controller General of India to deliver HCQ.

BPCL was set up by Prafulla Chandra Ray, the “father of Indian Pharma” and a spearheading figure on the planet instruction, in 1892. Around then it was known as Bengal Chemical Works. In 1901 it was made into a constrained organization and renamed Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. In 1980, the organization was nationalized and proceeded under the new name Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. In 1992, the organization was alluded to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), yet by 2016, to the amazement of everybody, it enlisted a net profit. Throughout the previous three years, BPCL has been profitable.

The organization has three divisions—home care and personal care, pharma and mechanical synthetic substances — with pharma, and home care and personal care domains contributing around 65% and 30% of its total sales, separately.

“We have the clearances on Friday from the specialists to make HCQ. We have the huge manufacturing facility and state of art infrastructure to make around 10,00,000-15,00,000 tablets for every day,” PM Chandraiah, Managing Director, Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals. The PSU pharmaceutical will produce 200 and 400-milligram tablets of HCQ.

At present, the organization makes ‘chloroquine phosphate’ utilized basically as Anti-Malarial medication.

Huge Shortfall of Raw Material

As indicated by Chandraiah, he has kept in touch with both the focal and state governments for API. He has additionally offered the utilization of the organization’s offices for the production of HCQ. “We have composed on the nonattendance of API and looked for crude materials. We are prepared to create HCQ and supply them at an expense to-cost premise (at no benefit),” he said.

Cinchona Estates

In the interim, the West Bengal government has solicited the Confederation from Indian Industry (CII) to present a report on the possibility of restarting tasks at its manors, at Mongpu in Kurseong region. The estates are spread more than 9,600 acres of land; yet have been shut for more than 15 years now.

In a gathering with industry chiefs, exchange bodies and offices of trade, the West Bengal government raised the issue of restarting creation to guarantee that there was no lack of the medication.

“We will get ready and present a report throughout the following multi-week in regards to the plausibility of restarting the state-possessed cinchona estates. The report will likewise cover how to re-open the production lines and the necessary hardware. It will likewise incorporate the time span and Capex associated with the activity,” Sanjit Saha, Chairman of CII’s North Bengal zonal council, said.

Updated: April 18, 2020 — 2:42 pm

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