India To Import 4.5 Lakh Remdesivir Vials Amid Rising Demand For Antiviral Drug
The Government of India has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease out the shortage of Remdesivir in the country. The first Consignment of 75,000 vials reached India on Friday (30 April).
HLL Lifecare Ltd, a Government of India owned company has ordered 4,50,000 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 75,000 to 1,00,000 vials in the next one or two days. Further one lakh quantities will also be supplied before or by 15 May. EVA pharma will supply approximately 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said in a statement.
Government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. As on 27 April, the production capacity of the seven licensed domestic manufacturers increased from 38 lakh vials per month to 1.03 crore vials per month.
Total 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by the drug companies in the last seven days (21-28 April). The daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on 11 April to 2.09 lakh vials on 28 April. An advisory was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to states to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.
Government also prohibited the export of Remdesivir to enhance its availability in India. To ensure affordability of the injection among the masses, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on 17 April released the revised maximum retail price thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below Rs 3,500 per vial.
Also in order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the government exempted the whole of customs duty on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in manufacture of Remdesivir, till 31 October, 2021.
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