Glenmark Pharma cuts price of its Covid-19 drug FabiFlu
Drugmaker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited said on Monday that it had reduced the price of its coronavirus disease (Covid-19) drug Favipiravir from Rs103 to Rs75 per tablet, which could reduce the treatment cost of a 14-day regimen to Rs10,200 from Rs14,000.
The antiviral oral drug is marketed under the brand name FabiFlu and was launched in the Indian market on June 21.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted FabifFlu approval for Covid-19 treatment under emergency use authorization, which means that since limited data is available on the drug’s performance on cases of the disease, doctors prescribing the drug will have to obtain written informed consent of patients.
“The price reduction has been made possible through benefits gained from higher yields and better scale, as both the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) and formulations are made at Glenmark’s facilities in India, the benefits of which are being passed on to patients in the country,” the company said in a statement.
“Glenmark has successfully developed the API and the formulation for FabiFlu® through its own in-house R&D [research and development] team within the country, ensuring self-reliance with regard to long-term production and manufacturing. The API is manufactured at the Gujarat production facility which is USFDA & MHRA–UK approved. The formulation product is manufactured at the facility in Himachal Pradesh, which is also USFDA and MHRA-UK approved.”
USFDA is short for the US Food and Drug Administration and MHRA stands for Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Glenmark also announced that it had started a Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) study on FabiFlu to closely monitor the efficacy and safety of the drug on 1,000 patients who are prescribed it.
“We expect this post marketing surveillance study to shed more light on the drug’s clinical effectiveness and safety in a large cohort of patients prescribed FabiFlu. Our priority from the start of this pandemic has been to offer patients in India an effective treatment for COVID-19, while also ensuring accessibility to the masses. Our internal research shows us that we launched FabiFlu in India at the lowest market cost as compared to the cost of Favipiravir in other countries where it is approved. And now we hope that this further price reduction will make it even more accessible for patients across the country,” said Alok Malik, senior vice president and head – India business, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.
FabiFlu in India was originally launched at Rs103/tab. Its price is Rs600 per tablet in Russia, Rs378 in Japan, Rs350 in Bangladesh and Rs215 in China.
“Most patients exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms can benefit from FabiFlu use. Glenmark has also completed the phase 3 clinical trial with Favipiravir (FabiFlu) in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients in India. The trial results will be available shortly,” the company said in its statement.
Glenmark is also conducting another phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the antiviral drugs Favipiravir and Umifenovir as a combination therapy in hospitalised adult Covid-19 patients in India with moderate symptoms of the disease.