As the country reels under an escalated demand for Remdesivir amid a sharp rise in the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients, the Centre has announced an interim allocation of the crucial drug for 19 States/UTs till April 30.
Among these, Maharashtra - by far the worst affected - has been allotted the lion’s share of 2,69,200 vials, followed by Gujarat 1,63,500 vials, Uttar Pradesh 1,22,800 vials, Madhya Pradesh 92,400 vials and national capital Delhi has been given 61,900 doses.
Remdesivir being an investigational therapy drug given in acute and severe versions of COVID-19 where oxygen support is a must, this allocation pertains to 14 States to which medical oxygen is allocated and 5 other states where the high volume of supplies are being observed, the Centre stated.
Meanwhile, the states have been advised to promote judicious use of the drug which is listed as an Investigational Therapy by the Health Ministry. They have also been asked to take action against possible hoarding and black marketing of the drug.
The manufacturing capacity of domestic Remdesivir manufacturers has been ramped up and support is being extended by the government, a statement issued by the Centre stated. The production capacity is being ramped up from 38 lakh vials per month to 74 lakh vials per month, and 20 additional manufacturing sites have been approved for production.
The Centre had on April 11 prohibited the export of Remdesivir in order to shore up domestic supplies.
On Tuesday, the government had waived customs duty on Remdesivir, its raw materials and other components. The items on which the duty has been waived include Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), injection Remdesivir, and beta Cyclodextrin used in the manufacture of Remdesivir. This import duty exemption would remain in force till October 31.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had last week said various drug companies had cut the prices of Remdesivir injection on the intervention of the government.
Cadila Healthcare has reduced the price of its REMDAC (Remdesivir 100 mg) injection to Rs 899 from Rs 2,800. Similarly, Syngene International has cut the price of its brand RemWin to Rs 2,450 from Rs 3,950. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has cut the price of REDYX, which used to cost Rs 5,400, to Rs 2,700 now. Similarly, Cipla has reduced the price of its CIPREMI brand to Rs 3,000 from Rs 4,000. Mylan has also reduced the price of its brand from Rs 4,800 to Rs 3,400. Similarly, Jubilant Generics has cut the price of its Remdesivir brand to Rs 3,400 from Rs 4,700 earlier. Hetero Healthcare has cut the price of its brand COVIFOR from Rs 5,400 to Rs 3,490.