The global Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is donating more than 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to hospitals across the United States to meet the urgent demand for the medicine as an investigational target to treat COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine sulfate is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Teva-manufactured drug is not approved for use in treating COVID-19. However, it is under investigation for efficacy against the novel coronavirus and has been requested by US government officials to be made available for testing purposes.
“Immediately upon learning of the potential benefit of hydroxychloroquine, Teva began to assess supply and to urgently acquire additional ingredients to make more product while arranging for all of what we had to be distributed immediately,” said Brendan O’Grady, Teva Executive Vice President, North America Commercial.
“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost.”
O’Grady said that additional production of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets is also being assessed and subsequently ramped up with materials that are being sent to Teva from its ingredient supplier.
Teva will ship 6 million tablets through wholesalers to hospitals by March 31, and more than 10 million within a month.
The company is also reviewing supply of both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine globally to determine whether there are additional supply and access opportunities for patients.
Teva is a global leader in generic and specialty medicines with a portfolio consisting of over 3,500 products in nearly every therapeutic area. Teva provides more than 10% of the US drug supply, providing American patients with approximately 1 out of 7 prescriptions they take.