The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has ordered the production of chloroquine for possible use in treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye said in a statement.
“In a very recent publication, chloroquine was reported at a press briefing by the State Council of China, indicating that chloroquine phosphate had demonstrated marked efficacy and acceptable safety in treating COVID-19 associated pneumonia in multi-centre clinical trials conducted in China.
“The study involved 10 hospitals in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Ningbo, and 100 patients.
“The investigators reported that chloroquine phosphate is superior to the control in inhibiting pneumonia associated with COVID-19 and shortening the course of the disease.
“Chloroquine was discontinued in Nigeria many years ago for use as antimalarial because of the resistance that the parasite developed against the drug.
“About four weeks ago, I approached a local manufacturing company (May and Baker), a member of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), whose flagship product in the past was chloroquine to make a batch of the drug for emergency stock.
“The company had NAFDAC approval for the production of the drug as antimalarial many years ago before the discontinuation.
“The Managing Director expressed possible difficulty in getting the API due to the fact that the drug has been discontinued.
“He called shortly after that he was able to get the API and was asked the company to manufacture a batch for emergency stock just in case more people become exposed and infected with the virus.
“The batch has been manufactured and the company plans to make more batches if needed.”