Trump administration ignored concern over HCQ import from India, Pak, says fired whistleblower

New York, New York, United States of AmericaUpdated: May 06, 2020, 10:03 AM IST

Drug developed for lung diseases shows great results in mice with spinal cord injuries Photograph:(Reuters)

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The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 71,000 people and infected more than 1.2 million in the US.

A fired scientist has alleged that the Trump administration ignored the concern of doctors in the US over the import of hydroxychloroquine from uninspected factories in India and Pakistan, and flooded the country with the unproven and potentially dangerous anti-malarial drug.

When fired, Rick Bright was the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a research agency within the HHS. He reported directly to Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary of preparedness and response at the HHS.

The American scientist, in a complainted to the US Office of Special Counsel, alleged that top officials of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) repeatedly ignored his messages and that of others over the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medicines like hydroxychloroquine in particular.

In Bright's experience, drugs from uninspected factories can be contaminated or dosed improperly and this could obviously be dangerous to those who took the medication.

The Trump administration imported nearly five crore units of hydroxychloroquine which in March received Emergency Use Authorisation from the FDA.

The Trump administration, the complaint said, was not interested in hearing from Bright and his department or subject matter experts.

Bright and his FDA colleagues were also concerned about the quality and potential toxicity of the chloroquine supplies produced and shipped in from facilities in India and Pakistan that were not approved by the FDA and therefore, not approved to be used in the US marketplace.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 71,000 people and infected more than 1.2 million in the US.