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This is How India is Tackling the Sudden Demand for Remdesivir Drug for Treating Viral Loads

Ever-since the second wave  of Covid-19 infections hit India, there have been reports of patients facing difficulties in accessing the Remdesivir drug.

To arrest the situation, the Central Government has swiftly taken adequate measures to increase capacity of  Remdesivir production and also control its price variation.

In this line, Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya held a meeting with major drug manufacturers and stakeholders on April 14th, 2021.

Significant outcomes of the meeting are as follows

  • Fast-track approval has been given for seven additional siteshaving the production capacity of 10 Lakh vials /month to six manufacturers.
  • The current installed capacity of the seven manufacturers of Remdesivir is 38.80 lakh vials per month. Now, another 30 lakh vials/month production is lined up, taking the production to 68.60 vials/month.
  • In order to meet the domestic need, an export ban is already in force for Remdesivir, API and formulation.
  • On Government intervention, Remdesivir supplies of approximately 4 lakh vials meant for export is being divertedto fulfil domestic requirement.

Bringing Transparency and Ease

Apart from facilitating the capacity-building, the Government has also asked drug companies to refrain from selling Remdesivir at an exorbitant price. As there is no uniform price for this drug, the price varies between Rs 900 to Rs 5,000 per vial. After the meeting with manufacturers, the Minister has assured that the drug will be sold at a price not exceeding Rs 3,500 per vial.

As this Hindustan Times report notes, the Government has also asked Remdesivir manufacturers to display details of their stockists/distributors on their respective websites so that any black-marketing racket can be tackled effectively.

The Government has also instructed that Remdesivir should not be used indiscriminately by patients who are undergoing treatment at home or are not in critical condition. Only those who are on oxygen support should be administered with the drug.