Anti Malaria Drug Hydrooxychloroquine Now a Schedule H1 Drug
Anti malaria drug Hydrooxychloroquine has now been declared a Schedule H1 Drug by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare after reports of hoarding coming from across the country. This comes after Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR approved hydrooxychloroquine as a prophylactic for specific people including healthcare workers and family members in immediate contact of a COVID-19 person.
A Schedule H1 drug means it can only be sold on a prescription by a qualified medical professional. It also means that its box will have a warning label of only prescription sale and against self-medication, and chemists would need to maintain records of sale.
The notice reads:
"Whereas, the Central Government is satisfied that the drug ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19 and in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate and restrict the sale and distribution of the drug ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ and preparation based thereon for preventing their misuse."
ICMR's approval for the drug has come under question as most studies on the efficacy of the drug are small. While promising, clinical research of the drug is on going in multiple places, with some studies indicating it could turn toxic. There was also a recent death reported in the US after a man over dosed on the drug. This came after the US President Donald Trump over sold the drug as the most promising.
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