Indian health authorities including ICMR and Ministry of Health went on a massive propaganda recommending unproven anti-malarial drug, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), to combat COVID-19 soon after coronavirus pandemic started in India almost one year ago. Despite no supporting scientific evidence and serious warnings for potential cardiac problems from leading medical groups including American Health Association (AHA), HCQ was widely distributed by Indian doctors and political leaders to almost all suspected or infected COVID-19 patients. PBT brought this medical travesty through a PIL before the Supreme Court of India that directed ICMR to look into our specific scientific arguments and to take appropriate measures vide a final order/judgment on 30th April, 2020.
Although ICMR had to take some preemptive action for using HCQ under pressure from the Apex Court’s order, they never provided information about how many innocent COVID-19 patients may have suffered adverse drug reaction (ADR) or died as a result of the unproven use of HCQ and instead, ICMR submitted vide a letter dated 3rd August, 2020 that such information about ADR or death may be obtained from the drug regulators in India (PvPI) (see ICMR letter below). PBT immediately wrote to the PvPI seeking details about ADR or death of COVID patients in India. More than 6 months have passed, no response received either from the PvPI or Health Ministry despite repeated attempts to contact their healthcare authorities by PBT.
PBT has sent a legal notice to ICMR and PvPI today giving 10 days to provide detail information about the patients suffered from ADR or died due to the reckless use of HCQ by doctors and hospitals across India. If they still remain silent and no response is received, PBT may move a “contempt of court” or other necessary legal action before the appropriate court.