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Novartis will donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response.
Novartis announced in a March 20, 2020 press release that it is committing to donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis is supporting ongoing clinical trial efforts.
Currently, the Novartis Sandoz division only holds a registration for hydroxychloroquine in the United States. The company says it will pursue appropriate regulatory authorizations from FDA and the European Medicines Agency. When supported for use in COVID-19 infected patients by regulatory authorities, Novartis intends to donate up to 130 million, 200-mg doses by the end of May, including its current stock of 50 million, 200-mg doses. The company is also considering adding capacity and said it will work with other manufacturers to ensure supply.
Novartis said in the press release that it will work with stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, to determine the best distribution of the medicine to ensure broad access to patients most in need of this medicine globally. The company aims to ensure that patients currently depending on this medicine are not impacted by the donation.