President Donald Trump has been heavily promoting the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, even though top American medical professionals warn that the drug is unproven and has potentially harmful side effects for some people.
Trump’s efforts to promote the drug have now been dealt a massive blow, however, as Bloomberg is reporting that India has now cut off all its exports of hydroxychloroquine, which is particularly troublesome given that the United States receives roughly half its supply of the drug from India.
“According to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence, 47 percent of the U.S. supply of the drug last year came from India makers,” the publication writes. “Only a handful of suppliers in the top 10 are non-Indian, such as Actavis, now a subsidiary of Israeli generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. It’s likely that some of their production facilities are nevertheless located in India, the biggest maker of generic drugs in the world.”
And even though American drug manufacturer Mylan NV has started producing the drug again, the Indian export ban will likely lead to a spike in prices for the drug, which is already in high demand thanks to the president’s constant promotion of using it for treatment.