Greece: chloroquine in series, away from the controversy world

Grèce: de la chloroquine en série, loin de la controverse mondiale

Grèce: de la chloroquine en série, loin de la controverse mondiale

According to epidemiologists, germany, Greece, chloroquine is considered to be effective especially in the early stages of the disease and has been administered in combination with azithromycin for hospitalized patients.

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June 12, 2020 23h18

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Greece: chloroquine in series, away from the controversy world

Hélène Colliopoulou

Agence France-Presse

NEA KIFISSIA — Far away from the controversy that has roiled the scientific community in the world, Greece took over the production of chloroquine in full pandemic and continues its clinical trials according to a “quiet and remote”.

In front of the green lights flashing of a machine for manufacturing capsules, Evangelia Sakellariou, a chemist in a laboratory in Greek, was one of the first scientists to control the quality of chloroquine tablets, used in the hospitals of the country.

His company, Uni-Pharma, located in Nea Kifissia, in the northern suburbs of Athens, was able to reactivate an old manufacturing license of the drug controversy, which in the 90s was exported to Africa for the treatment of malaria.

“The situation was urgent in march” and “the company has had the reflex to ask the national Agency for medicines [EOF] to reactivate the old license a few days before the confinement and the closure of the borders to” the Greek, said to theAFP Spyros Kintzios, director of development Uni-Pharma.

In the wake of this, five tonnes of raw material were imported from India and the laboratory is set to “alert,” remembers Evangelia Sakellariou.

“The weekend of the 21st of march, we were working constantly, we were under pressure and in 30 hours it has produced 24 million doses, offered in the national health system Greek”, she says.

Grèce: de la chloroquine en série, loin de la controverse mondiale

Greece took over the production of chloroquine in full pandemic and continues its clinical trials, away the scientific controversy.

AFP, Louisa Gouamaki

“When I saw the first tablets, I felt relieved and happy to have made this effort for a good cause,” she continued.

Greece had six deaths and 464 people infected with the new coronavirus. The country has remained one of the most spared by the COVID-19 compared to its european partners, with 182 deaths and nearly 3,000 cases so far.

In a context of international competition, “the resumption of production of chloroquine in Greece has had a positive effect on the local industry, whose exports are on the rise in recent years,” said Markos Ollandezos, president of the Union panhellenic pharmaceutical industry.

The industry of greece is mainly specialized in the manufacture of generic and some drugs in common use.

“Approach quiet and remote”

The media coverage of the debate on chloroquine in France and in other countries as well as the polemical world born of the publication of a study in the journal The Lancet, have little affected the scientific community of greece.

According to epidemiologists in the country, chloroquine is considered to be effective especially in the early stages of the disease and has been administered in combination with azithromycin for hospitalized patients.

And the fact that the coronavirus has made few deaths in Greece “has not contributed to the debate on the treatment,” explains Markos Ollandezos.

The medical University of Athens started in April a study on “the action of chloroquine phosphate on the patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2”.

“The public, scientists and authorities have maintained an approach that is calm and remote in the face of controversy. The idea is to wait and see the results of the studies. ”


Spyros Kintzios, director of development, Uni-Pharma

The withdrawal to the June 4, three of the four authors of the study in the Lancet, and the flip-flopping of the world Health Organization, which now allows the resumption of clinical trials on the hydroxychlorine after a brief suspension, had caused a wave of shock in the public opinion and the scientific community in the world.

However, the manufacture of chloroquine or its derivative hydroxychloroquine continues in many countries in Europe.

The French company Sanofi product hydroxychloroquine sulfate on a site in Hungary. As for the drug itself, the plaquenil, it is built on two big production sites in Spain and France.

The plaquenil is imported in several countries where hydroxychloroquine is not produced, as in Greece, Poland or Estonia.

In Bulgaria, the chloroquine of the public laboratory Bul Bio is used to cure the sick of the COVID-19.

Regarded as a major producer of chloroquine, Poland allows its use if necessary. It is the company Adamed, that the product under the name of Arechin.

Questioned byAFP, a spokesman for the Hungarian government pointed out that the drug was not administered to new patients, but only to those who have already started treatment.

Le Soleil

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