Maharashtra, Delhi Among 5 States To Receive Hetero's Generic Version Of Remdesivir

Covifor would be available in injectable vials of 100

Cipla received regulatory approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) very recently for restricted emergency use in the country as part of the accelerated approval process considering the urgent and unmet medical need.

On June 22, Gilead, the California-based pharmaceutical company that makes remdesivir, said it will start testing an inhaled form of its experimental COVID-19 therapy. Hetero also clarified that the drug will be sold only through hospitals and government and not through retail outlets.

The drugmaker also plans to test an easier-to-use, inhaled version of the drug that is now given intravenously.

Announcing the cost, Hetero on Wednesday said Hetero Healthcare, a group company, will deliver the first set of 20,000 vials within a week in two equal lots, in order to meet emergency requirements. Remdesivir is US FDA approved Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) treatment for adult and paediatric patients hospitalised with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Remdesivir is now given to patients intravenously through daily infusions in hospital.

The assessment ended with recommendations that are mainly based on survey data NIAID-ACTT-11 sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases of the United States, as well as on data of other studies on ramdevpir. The trial showed no significant difference between a 5-day course and a 10-day course of remdesivir in those with severe COVID-19 (not requiring mechanical ventilation).

"Without years of research on remdesivir, we would not have been able to move so quickly in response to this outbreak", said Daniel O'Day, Chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences, in an open letter. However, Reuters reported the drug could be priced up to $5,080 per course in the USA, while Indian generic drugmakers could sell treatments for 5,000 to 6,000 rupees ($66.13-$79.35).

Gilead's move comes at a time when another antiviral drug, Favipiravir got marketing approval in many countries like India, Bangladesh, Russia and UAE, while many countries are conducting trials for clearance.

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