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India to import 4.50 lakh vials of Remdesivir, 75K to reach today

COVID-19. Photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán/ Pixabay

New Delhi, Apr 30 (MNN) The Indian government said on Friday that it would import 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir drug used in the treatment of coronavirus patients and that the first consignment of 75,000 vials would reach India during the day.

HLL Lifecare Ltd, a government- owned company, had ordered 4,50,000 vials from Gilead Sciences Inc in the US and Egyptian Eva Pharma to ease its shortage in the country.

Gilead Sciences Inc was expected to dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,000 vials of the vital drug in the next one or two days. Further, 1,00,000 vials would be supplied before or by May 15.

EVA Pharma would supply approximately 10,000 vials initially, followed by 50,000 every 15 days or till July.

The government said that it had also ramped up production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. As of April 27, the production capacity of seven licensed domestic manufacturers had increased from 38 lakh vials to 1.03 crore vials per month.
A total of 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by the drug companies from April 21 to 28.
The government claimed that daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on April 11 to 2.09 lakh vials on April 28.
An advisory was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the states and UTs to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.

The Indian government had also banned export of Remdesivir to increase its availability in India. To ensure affordability, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on April 17 released the revised maximum retail price to bring down cost of all major brands to below Rs 3,500 per vial.

In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue vide a notification dated April 20 exempted Customs Duty on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta Cyclodextrin used in the drug’s manufacture till October 31.
The National Treatment Protocol has been 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 Ministry of Health on April 22 to encourage judicious use of drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising the demand.

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