"It includes asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID, asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases, a combination of HCQ with Azithromycin on patients with severe disease and requiring ICU management", said the official, adding that HCQ has to be given only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner as per government guidelines.
The Indian companies licensed are multinational Cipla Ltd., HIV/AIDS drug specialist Hetero Labs Ltd., Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd. and Mylan Laboratories Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of US -headquartered multinational Mylan N.V. Also licensed is Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd., one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan.
"American company Gilead has manufactured this drug and it has proven effective in treating coronavirus patients", he said during a press conference.
On May 13, Gilead Sciences confirmed that it has signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan to expand the supply of its experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir.
"Pakistan will be among the first three countries in the world where it will not only be produced but will also be exported to the whole world", Mirza said.
"Under the licensing agreements, the companies have a right to receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for Remdesivir to enable them to scale up production more quickly". Roche licensed Hyderabad-based Hetero to make and sell it in the local Indian and other developing markets.
The investigational antiviral medication, remdesivir, being used to treat COVID-19 patients continues to be distributed at Pennsylvania hospitals, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Tony Kahle, a COVID-19 patient in San Diego, said Remdesivir saved his life.
The drug is now in the clinical trial stage and has not yet received marketing approval.
"Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo", it had said.