India’s Ministry of External Affairs (Foreign Ministry of Government of India) has cleared export of Paracetamol API to Trinidad and Tobago.

The product to be exported to T&T is worth more than US $250,000.

According to a statement from the Indian Government, Trinidad and Tobago is among 63 countries, spread all over the globe, for which the export of the medicine has been approved.

The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) is the part of any drug that produces the intended effects. Some drugs, such as combination therapies, have multiple active ingredients to treat different symptoms or act in different ways.

The Indian Government says this decision has been taken on humanitarian grounds to ensure the supply of medicine that is widely used, including in cases with COVID-19. According to the Government statement, this is part of India’s efforts to contribute to the global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also a symbol of our solidarity towards all the countries who require this medicine during the hour of need,” the statement said.  “A total of 1,667.25 Kg of the medicine with FOB value of US$ 256,500 would be supplied by Milan Laboratories Pvt Ltd of India to Trinidad and Tobago.”

The Indian government also confirmed that it has approved the supply of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), either as commercial sales or as grants, to 55 countries, as part of the efforts to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic. HCQ stands for Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine used to prevent and treat Malaria. As of now, there are no specific anti-viral medications against COVID19. In pre-clinical laboratory studies, HCQ has been found effective against Coronavirus. So HCQ is being recommended for treatment under special circumstances and for protection of high-risk individuals.

India leads in production and export of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with 70% of annual global production of its API in the country. Enough stock of API and manufacturing capacity of HCQ formulations exist to meet country’s requirement as well as export obligations.

India, the largest producer of HCQ, initially banned exports of the drug on March 25 and further tightened rules on April 4 to bar exports from special economic zones (SEZs), where such bans don’t apply. The rules were partially eased to allow the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol after meeting all domestic requirements.

India will be supplying Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to 55 countries including: United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Seychelles, Oman, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Egypt, Armenia, Senegal, Algeria, Jamaica, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Slovenia, Uruguay, Ecuador, and others.

Among the 55 countries for which exports of HCQ have been approved are India’s neighbouring states such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, African countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Niger, Mali, and Republic of Congo, and European nations such as France, the Netherlands and the UK.

The statement from the Indian Government notes that India has come to be recognised as a reliable global supplier of medicines during this humanitarian crisis and it has reached out to many countries—including Trinidad and Tobago—with delivery of essential medical supplies.