Covifor, the generic version of experimental COVID-19 drug Remdesivir, will be available in India for Rs 5,400 per 100 mg vial, Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs has said. Following the approval to Covifor by the Drug Controller General of India, Hetero Healthcare Ltd, a group company of Hetero, announced that it is set to deliver the first set of 20,000 vials.
Maharashtra and Delhi, the two worst-affected states in the country will be among the first to receive the experimental drug. They will be made available in two equal lots of 10,000 each.
The first set of 20,000 vials in two equal lots of 10,000 each, one of which, will be immediately supplied to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra,” said Hetero Company spokesperson. The other lot will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Trivandrum and Goa within a week, it added.
Through Covifor, we hope to reduce the treatment time of a patient in a hospital, thereby reducing the increasing pressure on the medical infrastructure, overburdened currently due to accelerating Covid-19 infection rates. We are working closely with the government and medical community to make Covifor quickly accessible to both public and private healthcare settings across the country,” said M. Srinivasa Reddy, Managing Director, Hetero Healthcare.
Remdesivir is approved only for “restricted emergency use” on hospitalized COVID-19 patients with moderate symptoms. The drug is available in 100 mg vial (Injectable). It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, critical care setting, under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
Covifor is anticipated to play a significant role in bringing down the mortality rates caused by COVID-19, given its proven positive clinical outcomes, said the company spokesperson.
Union Health Ministry On COVID-19
The Union Health Ministry in its fresh clinical management protocol for COVID-19 patients, has described the use of Remdesivir as investigational therapy. Patients can be administered with 200 mg IV on day 1 followed by 100 mg IV daily for 5 days. The drug cannot be administered to a pregnant or lactating mother and children below the age of 12 years. Also, patients should not have liver problems and renal complications, stated the health ministry document.
Covifor is anticipated to play a significant role in bringing down the mortality rates caused by Covid-19, given its proven positive clinical outcomes, the company added.
Meanwhile, pharma major Cipla said, it will price its generic version of Remdesivir at less than Rs 5,000 per vial. It also said that the drug will be available in the next 8 to 10 days.