Delhi, Maharashtra among 5 states likely to get first lot of Covid-19 drug
The other batch will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Trivandrum and Goa within a week’s time, in order to meet emergency requirements, according to Hetero.Updated: Jun 25, 2020 21:21 IST
Homegrown pharma major Hetero has started delivering the generic version of antiviral drug Remdesivir to states across the country for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Sold under the brand name Covifor, the drug has been priced at Rs 5,400 per vial and will be available at hospitals to treat the coronavirus infection.
Delhi and Maharashtra -- the two worst-hit states in the country by the coronavirus pandemic will be the first to receive the first batch of the antiviral medicine. The Hyderabad-based drugmaker has dispatched 20,000 vials of Covifor to five states. Besides Maharashtra and the national capital, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the other two states that will receive the first batch of the drug. Telangana, which has seen a sudden surge in coronavirus cases in the last one week, is the fifth state that will receive the first batch of the medicine.
On Sunday, pharma company Hetero had announced it has received both manufacturing and marketing approval for the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir, from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to treat Covid-19 patients. A day earlier, on Saturday, another India-based pharma firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals launched antiviral drug Favipiravir, to be sold under the brand name FabiFlu, for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms.
“The first set of 20,000 vials in two equal lots of 10,000 each, one of which, will be immediately supplied to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra is ready,” a Hetero spokesperson said.
The other batch will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Trivandrum and Goa within a week’s time, in order to meet emergency requirements, the spokesperson said.
“Covifor is the first generic brand of Remdesivir which is indicated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Through Covifor, we hope to reduce the treatment time of a patient in a hospital, thereby reducing the increasing pressure on the medical infrastructure, overburdened currently due to accelerating infection rates,” M Srinivasa Reddy, Managing Director, Hetero Healthcare Limited told news agency ANI.
Covifor will soon be accessible to both public and private healthcare facilities across the country, according to the pharma firm. The company has set a target to produce one lakh vials of the drug in three-four weeks.
The drug is available in 100 mg vials and is injectable. It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital in a critical care set-up, under the supervision of a registered doctor. The recommended dose for adults and pediatric patients is 200 mg on Day 1 followed by once daily maintenance doses of 100 mg for five days.
Covifor is likely to play a vital role in bringing down mortality rates caused by coronavirus, the company spokesperson said.
Earlier in June, the Union Health Ministry included the use of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as part of “investigational therapy” only for restricted emergency-use in its updated Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19 patients.
The drug cannot be administered to a pregnant or lactating mother and children below the age of 12 years. Patients should not have liver problems and renal complications either, the health ministry document had indicated.