The government of India has started importing Remdesivir from other countries and the first consignment of 75000 vials will reach India on Friday amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, union ministry of chemicals and fertilizers has said.
The ministry stated that 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 1,00,00 vials in the next one or two days. Further one hundred thousand quantities will also be supplied before or by May 15. EVA pharma will supply approximately 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July, said the ministry.
According to the ministry, the government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country.
It stated that as on April 27, 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), while the daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on April 11 to 2.09 lakh vials on April 28 April, said the ministry. It said that an advisory was issued by the home ministry to states and union territories to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.
The ministry further said that the government also prohibited the export of Remdesivir to enhance its availability in India.
To ensure affordability of the injection among the masses, NPPA on April 17 released the revised maximum retail price thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below Rs 3,500 per vial, it said.
According to the ministry, in order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue vide Notification 27/2021-Customs dated April 20 exempted the whole of the duty of Customs on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in manufacture of Remdesivir, till October 31 this year.
National Treatment Protocol was updated through the clinical guidance for management of adult COVID 19 patients by AIIMS/ ICMR- COVID-19 National Task Force/ Joint Monitoring group of MoHFW on April 22, said the ministry.
It further said, the updated protocol will encourage Judicious use of Drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising demand.