Covifor, the generic version of antiviral drug Remdesivir, will be available in India for Rs 5,400 per 100 mg vial, Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs announced on Wednesday.
Following the approval to Covifor by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), Hetero Healthcare Ltd, a group company of Hetero, announced that it is set to deliver the first set of 20,000 vials.
They will be made available in two equal lots of 10,000 each. One lot will be immediately supplied to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra while the other lot will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa within a week to meet the emergency requirements, the company said.
"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.
Covifor is the first generic brand of Remdesivir.
The Union health ministry, in its 'Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19' has recommended the use of the remdesivir on patients in moderate stage of the disease that is, those on oxygen. The drug has been included as an "investigational therapy" only for restricted emergency use purposes.
The drug is available in 100 mg vial (injectable). It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, or critical care setting, under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
Cipla and Hetero Labs have already entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements with US pharma giant Gilead Sciences, which is the patent holder of the drug remdesivir. Besides Hetero and Cipla, three other firms BDR, Jubilant, Mylan and DR Reddy's Labs have also applied to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO), for permission to manufacture and market the drug in India and are still awaiting permission.
With IANS and PTI inputs