Hyderabad-based drugmaker Hetero, which has the approval to manufacture and market the generic version of the experimental COVID-19 drug Remdesivir, has sent 20,000 vials to five states including Maharashtra and Delhi – the two worst-affected states in the country.
Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the other two states that will receive the first batch of the drug which is being marketed under the brand name COVIFOR in India. Telangana’s capital Hyderabad, where the drugmaker is based, will also receive the first consignment.
Hetero said a 100-milligram vial of the drug will cost Rs. 5400. They will be made available in two equal lots of 10,000 each. The company has set a target to produce one lakh vials of the drug in three-four weeks.
Currently, the drug is being manufactured at the company’s formulation facility in Hyderabad. The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is being made in the firm’s Visakhapatnam facility, news agency PTI reported.
“Backed by strong backward integration capabilities, we can ensure that the product is immediately made available to patients across the country.” Mr. Bandi told PTI.
The next batch of the drug will be shipped to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Kochi, Trivandrum, and Goa.
What is Covifor?
Covifor is the first generic brand of Remdesivir which is indicated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in adults and children, hospitalized with severe symptoms of the disease.
It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, or critical care setting, under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
Covifor is anticipated to play a significant role in bringing down the mortality rates caused by Covid-19, given its proven positive clinical outcomes, the company added.
- The drug will be available in 100 mg injectable form which has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional. It is not a drug you can take at home.
- The company is sure about enough stock to cater to the present needs of the medicine.
- The COVID-19 treatment by Covifor will cost not more than 30,000 per patient. Six doses of the medicine will be given in this timeframe.
Drugmaker Cipla has also signed a licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc – the original manufacturer of Remdesivir – to make and sell the drug. Cipla has said its antiviral drug Remdesivir would be priced below Rs 5,000.
Regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the generic versions made by Cipla and Hetero for restricted emergency use in severe COVID-19 cases.
(with inputs from indiatvnews)