Nantong-produced chloroquine phosphate sent to Hubei
The first batch of chloroquine phosphate produced by Jinghua Pharmaceutical Group Co, a leading pharmaceutical company in Nantong, was transported to Central China's Hubei province, the province hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) in China, on Feb 28.
Chloroquine phosphate is an established market drug that has been used to treat malaria for more than seven decades. It was listed in the latest treatment and diagnosis guidelines as a trial drug for treating COVID-19.
Because of the low incidence of malaria in China, Jinghua Pharmaceutical suspended the production of the drug in 2005.
In response to the call by the central government, the company decided to resume production when the drug was listed as a candidate to treat the virus.
All production lines were cleaned and disinfected and a group of skilled workers were gathered. The daily production capacity has now reached 400,000 pills.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the first batch of drugs will be sold at designated pharmaceutical stores in Hubei at normal prices.
The company resumed operations on Jan 28, the fourth day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, to help battle the novel coronavirus and alleviate the nationwide shortage of antiviral cold medicine.
To date, 30 million boxes of ZhengChaihu Granules and Jinqiaomai Tablets – both signature products of the company - have been sent to regions hit by the epidemic.