The Centre on Sunday prohibited the export of Remdesivir injection and its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the pandemic situation arising out of the rapid spread of coronavirus improves in the country. The decision has been taken to ensure easy access of Remdesivir to infected patients and hospitals providing treating against the virus. Seven Indian companies have licensed the drug from Gilead Sciences, with an installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month.
Several hospitals have complained of shortage of Remdesivir, considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications. Some places witnessed protest over the crisis over the last few days. There have also been cases of hoarding and black marketing the drug as COVID-19 makes a rapid resurgence in the country.
In a statement, the Union Health Ministry said it has taken a few other steps to bring the situation under control, including advising all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir to display on their website, details of their stockists and distributors to facilitate access to the drug.
Drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks and check their malpractices and also take other effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing. State health secretaries have been tasked to review the matter with the respective drug inspectors.
As there are chances of a further increase in demand for Remdesivir injection in the coming days, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is in contact with domestic manufacturers of the drug to ramp up its production.