New Delhi [India], May 17 (ANI): With the sudden increase of cases during the second wave of the pandemic, the government has taken swift actions to enhance the availability of an anti-viral drug Remdesivir across the country. Presently, nearly 119 lakh vials of Remdesivir are being produced per month, the Department of Pharmaceuticals informed on Monday.
The department has, ever since, intensified the monitor on the availability, production and supply of Remdesivir. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of manufacturing sites of Remdesivir.
Seven Indian pharmaceutical companies, namely Cipla, Dr Reddy's Lab., Hetero, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan, Syngene and Zydus Cadila, were granted voluntary licenses by the patent holder of Remdesivir, Gilead Life Sciences USA.
In order to boost production, the approval of 38 additional manufacturing sites were accelerated by the Government. This increased the number of approved manufacturing sites of Remdesivir in the country from 22 to 60 sites, the Department of Pharmaceuticals stated in an official statement.
The manufacturers of Remdesivir are also being facilitated for getting supplies of requisite raw materials and equipment from foreign countries, with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The export of Remdesiver has been prohibited since April 11, and the customs duty on Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API, and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir has also been exempted since April 20.
The Central government has been making allocations to States and UTs, in order to ensure equitable distribution of Remdesivir. The first allocation of 11 lakh vials was made for 19 states and UTs with high demand on April 21 for a period up to April 30. The latest allocation of 76 lakh vials was issued on May 16 for the period up to May 23.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals has asked the state governments and UTs to monitor proper distribution within their jurisdiction, covering both government as well as private hospitals, and in line with judicious use as advised in the "National Clinical Guidance for management of adult Covid-19 patients" issued jointly by AIIMS/ICMR Covid-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group of MoHFW.
State Governments and UTs have also been advised to place adequate purchase orders with the marketing companies immediately for the quantity that they want to purchase out of allocation for the State/ UT as per supply plan in close coordination with liaison officers of the companies. The states are also asked to coordinate with private distribution channels in the state.
States are also to oversee the mechanism for issuance of Remdesivir drug to the needy patients and to advertise it among the public well.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals, through National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), is in constant touch with all the States through their Nodal officers and manufacturing companies through their Liaison Officers to keep the complaints regarding supply in check.
"India has also received 5.26 lakh vials of Remdesivir donation from other countries and organisations and 40,000 vials were imported. These have also been allocated to the States and UTs", the department said. (ANI)