Pharma company founded by Indian-Americans donates hydroxychloroquine tablets in US

New York, Apr 7 (PTI) A New Jersey-based generic pharmaceutical company, co-founded by two Indian-Americans has donated millions of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to Louisiana, New York and Texas to help COVID19 patients. Amneal Pharmaceuticals has pledged to donate 400,000 hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to the State of Louisiana to help respond to the COVID-19 health emergency, according to a press release dated March 30 from Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

However, the US government’s top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci has been vocal about his concern that there is not enough evidence to suggest that Hydroxychloroquine is the drug that cures COVID19.

The release said that the large donation will go toward clinical trials and patient treatment in Louisiana.

Hydroxychloroquine, an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria, is seen as a viable therapeutic solution by President Trump to coronavirus that has so far killed more than 10,000 Americans and infected over 3.6 lakh within weeks.

Bridgewater, New Jersey-headquartered Amneal was founded in 2002 by Chirag Patel and Chintu Patel, who are also the Co-CEOs.

“Amneal has donated millions of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets in total to states other than Louisiana, including New York and Texas, and stated they will provide more as needed. The company also announced donations of products directly to hospitals across the country,” the release added.

The press release from the Louisiana Attorney General quoted Chirag and Chintu Patel as saying that “all of us at Amneal are committed to supporting our communities in the global fight against COVID-19. We are working with urgency to assist the hardest hit states and hospitals around the country to benefit as many patients as possible during this critical time.' Amneal's hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Hydroxychloroquine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of COVID-19; but it has been identified as a possible treatment for COVID-19, and the US Government has requested its immediate availability, the release said.

Landry thanked Amneal for the donation and said “it is important we all work together to help solve the COVID-19 crisis.” The Louisiana State University School of Medicine is working to launch two different clinical trials using hydroxychloroquine in relation to COVID-19. One trial will utilise hydroxychloroquine on those who have significant COVID-19 disease.

The other trial protocol will use and test the drug as a preventative measure for those healthcare workers on the front lines battling the epidemic. Trials will be conducted at the University Medical Center in New Orleans and at the LSU Medical School locations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Dean of LSUHSC School of Medicine Steve Nelson said the donation will allow them to conduct clinical trials examining how hydroxychloroquine may help clear the virus from the lungs of infected patients and to potentially help shield healthcare workers who are on the front lines treating patients.

'The hydroxychloroquine donation by Amneal comes at an important time. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy has noted serious concerns over the availability of this drug and has issued specific guidance on the dispensing of the drug, including its March 25th guidance noting that it should be dispensed for COVID-19 when the prescription bears a COVID-19 diagnosis,” the release said. PTI YAS PMS PMS