Remdesivir price cut, production to be nearly doubled amid increased demand
The manufacturers of Remdesivir have volunteered to reduce the price of Remdesivir, the anti-viral drug being used in Covid-19 treatment, to less than ₹3,500 by the end of this week, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday. The development comes amid an acute shortage of the drug in the wake of the increased number of Covid-19 cases in the country. At present, there is no uniform price of Remdesivir, as it ranges between ₹900 and ₹5,000 per vial.
The demand for Remdesivir has gone up in the past week with a sharp increase in the number of infections. The minister said the government has given an approval for seven additional sites with a production capacity of 10 lakh vials per month. This will add to the present capacity of producing 38.80 lakh vials per month. As another 30 lakh vial per month production is lined up, the present capacity will soon be doubled to 78 lakh vials per month.
On April 11, the government banned the export of Remdesivir and about 4 lakh vials were immediately diverted for domestic requirement.
"The current spike in Covid-19 cases has led to a higher demand of Remdesivir. We are currently producing Remdesivir at three of our facilities. To cater to the demand we have ramped up our production from the earlier 5-6 lakh vials a month to 10-12 lakh vials a month, which we will scale towards 20 lakh vials a month.” a Zydus Cadila spokesperson told PTI.
Dr Reddy's too said it has slashed the price by 50 per cent to make it accessible to all.
Apart from the export ban and ramping up the production, the government on Tuesday ordered that Remsesivir should not be used indiscriminately by patients who are being treated at home, and whose condition is not serious. Only those who are on oxygen support should take Remdesivir.
The government has also asked Remdesivir manufacturers to display on their website the details of their stockists/distributors. Several blackmarketing rackets of Remdesivir have been busted in the past few days.