To ensure smooth supply of remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID-19 across the country, the allocation of the antiviral drug to the states and union territories has been made up to May 16, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Sadananda Gowda said on Friday. The production capacity of remdesivir has been increased to 1.03 crore vials per month, up from 38 lakh vials per month earlier, the minister had said on Tuesday.
“Considering the requirement of Remdesivir in every state and ensuring its adequate availability, allocation of #Remdesivir has been made upto 16th May 2021. This will ensure smooth supply of Remdesivir across country so that no patient face difficulty in this #pandemic time,” Gowda said in a tweet. The minister also enclosed a letter by Department of Pharma Joint Secretary Navdeep Rinwa and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Director Rajiv Wadhawan, giving details of the updated allocation plan valid for the period April 21 to May 16 being made for states/UTs.
The allotment is being made for the states/UTs and it is the state governments and UTs that have to monitor proper distribution, covering government and private hospitals as appropriate and in line with judicious use, the letter said. ”State governments/UTs are advised to place adequate purchase orders with the marketing companies immediately, if they have not already done so, for the quantity that they want to purchase out of the allocation for the state/UT as per supply plan in close coordination with the liaison officers of the companies,” it added.
The coordination with private distribution channels in the state could also be made, the letter said. ”The nodal officers of the state governments have to coordinate and follow up with the marketing companies to get delivery of remdesivir injection in time as per the daily requirements”, the letter written to additional chief secretary/ principal secretary and secretary health of all states/UTs said. Demand for remdesivir has gone up manifold in the country amid a massive spike in COVID infections.
The government has already waived customs duty on Remdesivir, its raw materials and other components used to make the antiviral drug in order to help augment domestic availability and reduce the cost of the injection. On April 11, in view of increased demand for remdesivir, the Centre banned the export of the injection and its APIs till the situation improves.