hydroxychloroquine Current Affairs - 2020

CSIR Technologies for COVID-19 Mitigation Compendium

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on 23rd July 2020 launched a compilation of useful information about CSIR technologies for COVID-19 mitigation. He expressed his strong viewpoints on technological advancements and innovations undertaken by CSIR against COVID-19 and talked about how the country’s scientists and experts have contributed to the fight against the novel coronavirus. The Union minister also praised the contributions of COVID-19 fighters who have selflessly given their valuable time and service to the country at this juncture when the country needed them most.

Major highlights:

Currently, around 5 lakhs tests are conducted across the country and plan is to double fold the number in the upcoming months. Most of the ventilators are being made locally now after the PM Modi’s appeal to vocal for local. India is supplying hydroxychloroquine drug to nearly 150 countries worldwide. The country has shown one of the best COVID-19 recovery rates, around 64% in the world while the fatality rate has shown a considerable decline to 2.2%.

Compendium in-depth:

A wide range of technologies and products used in the fighting of COVID-19 from diagnostics, drugs, ventilators and PPE’S to using more than 100 technologies and 93 industry partners are explained in the compendium by the Union minister on Thursday. Among 100 of technologies over 60 of these technologies have been transferred for commercial production. India is among the very few countries where vaccine trial has reached to its final stage. Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are the two companies which have been provided with the permission for the human trial across the country for the COVID-19 vaccine.

GoI decides against including Itolizumab in treating COVID-19

The National Task Force on COVID-19 recently decided against using Itolizumab in clinical management protocols. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier approved for “restricted emergency use” of the drug.

Highlights

Itolizumab is used to treat psoriasis. It was recently approved for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome in ‘moderate’ to ‘severe’ acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients. The Emergency Use Authorisation granted for Itolizumab, according to the task force, was based on very small phase 2 trial with just 30 patients.

The drug costs around Rs 8,000 per vial and full course for COVID-19 patients will cost around Rs 32,000.

Background

The treatment protocol of COVID-19 is being revised by GoI from time to time based on the success of the medicines used to treat COVID-19.

So far, the GoI has approved Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Methylprednisolone and Itolizumab.

Drugs Controller General of India

The DCGI operating under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible to clear the drugs for medicinal treatment.  The DCGE operates within the department of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to approve licenses of drugs, vaccines, IV fluids.

The DCGI acts as appellate authority in case of dispute regarding quality of drugs. It prepares and maintains national reference standard. It brings uniformity in enforcement of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.