Remdesivir production to be doubled in next 15 days: Union minister Mandaviya
Union minister Mansukh Mandviya said on Sunday the production of Remdesivir will be doubled in the next 15 days, amid reports of shortage of the anti-viral drug in several states across the country, battling the spiralling cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“The government of India is making all efforts to increase the production of Remdesivir injection in the country and to ensure it is available at a low price. Currently, 150,000 vials of Remdesivir are being produced per day and, in the next 15 days, the production will be doubled to 300,000 vials each day,” Mandviya said in a video message on his Twitter handle.
“The existing number of plants in which Remdesivir is being produced is 20 and an equal number of additional plants have been sanctioned as well. We’re making all efforts to ensure that in the next few days, as many injections as possible are produced per day,” Mandviya, the Union minister of chemicals and fertilisers, said.
On the issue of price, the minister said that several pharmaceutical companies have slashed the retail price of the drug from ₹5000 or more to less than ₹3500, which, he said, will be help patients immensely. According to the national treatment protocol, Remdesivir, an injectable drug, is one of the investigation drugs approved for use in treating Covid-19 patients who are under hospitalisation.
The Centre has distributed close to 700,000 vials to various states and Union territories, especially the worst-affected ones, in the last five days. However, despite this, several states have reported an acute shortage of the drug, with long queues being seen outside chemists’ shops in some of the worst-affected cities. The state of Maharashtra, whose infection tally has been the highest since the early days of the pandemic, has even accused the central government of warning companies not to give stock of Remdesivir injections to Maharashtra as it is a state governed by three opposition parties.