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Govt ramps up Remedesivir imports, first lot of 75,000 vials reaching today

Govt ramps up Remedesivir imports, first lot of 75,000 vials reaching today

The Government has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease the shortage of the vital medicine used to treat Covid-19  patients with the first consignment of 75000 vials arriving in the country today, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

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 1,00,000 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, the Health Ministry statement said.

The Government has also ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. 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 a month. A total of 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by the drug companies in the last seven days (21-28 April, 2021). The daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on 11th April to 2.09 lakh vials on 28th April, 2021. An advisory was issued by MHA to states and UTs to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.

The Government has 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, 2021 released the revised maximum retail price thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below Rs 3500 per vial.

The Government has also waived customs duty on Remedesvir, making it easier to import the drug and keep the price at a reasonable level.

Beside, the National Treatment Protocol has been updated to encourage judicious use of drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising demand.