India's Cipla says ready to supply flu drug copy
Indian drug manufacturer Cipla Tuesday said it could supply 1.5 million doses of a copy of the Tamiflu antiviral medication to fight the international swine flu outbreak.business Updated: Apr 28, 2009 12:55 IST
Indian drug manufacturer Cipla Tuesday said it could supply 1.5 million doses of a copy of the Tamiflu antiviral medication to fight the international swine flu outbreak.
"We have already received proposals from people on behalf of countries in Latin America, Mexico and Israel," the Mumbai-based company's chief executive and joint managing director, Amar Lulla, was quoted as saying by Indian media.
"We have the capability to supply 1.5 million dosages of the drug within four to six weeks," he added. No approach had yet been made by either the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the Indian government, he added.
WHO on Monday raised its flu pandemic alert level from three to four amid global concern over swine flu. Mexico, the outbreak's epicentre, has raised its probable death toll to 152 and cases have been confirmed across the world.
Cipla Limited is one of the big Indian drug firms that makes a generic version of Swiss group Roche's Tamiflu to export to countries where it is not patented.
The Indian firm sells the drug at 1,000 rupees (20 dollars) for a 10-day course. Cipla and Ranbaxy supplied the antiviral drug to some Asian countries during the outbreak of bird flu in 2006.