The Centre has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease out the shortage of it in the country. The first Consignment of 75 thousand vials will reach India today. The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said, HLL Lifecare Limited, a Government of India owned company has ordered 4 lakh 50 thousand vials of Remdesivir from M/s Gilead Sciences Inc, USA and Egyptian Pharma Company, M/s Eva Pharma.
It is expected that Gilead Sciences Inc. USA will dispatch 75 thousand to one lakh vials in the next one or two days. Further one hundred thousand quantities will also be supplied before or by the 15th of May. EVA pharma will supply approximately 10 thousand vials initially followed by 50 thousand vials every 15 days or till July.
The Ministry said, the Government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. As on 27th April, the production capacity of the seven licensed domestic manufacturers increased from 38 lakh vials per month to one crore three lakh vials per month. Total 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by the Drug companies in the last seven days.
The daily supply has gone up from 67 thousand 900 vials on the 11th of April to 2.09 lakh vials on the 28th of April this year. An advisory was issued by Home Ministry to states and Union Territories to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.
Government also prohibited the export of Remdesivir to enhance its availability in the country. To ensure affordability of the injection among the masses, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on 17th of this month released the revised maximum retail price thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below 3 thousand 500 rupees per vial.
In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue has exempted the whole of the duty of Customs on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in manufacture of Remdesivir, till 31st October this year. The National Treatment Protocol was updated through the Clinical guidance for Management of Adult COVID 19 patients by AIIMS, ICMR- COVID-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring group of Health Ministry on the 22nd of this month. The updated protocol will encourage Judicious use of Drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising demand.