Hyderabad-based drugmaker Hetero, which has approval to manufacture and market the generic version of the experimental COVID-19 drug Remdesivir, has sent 20,000 vials to five states including Maharashtra and Delhi – the two worst affected states in the country.
Telangana’s capital Hyderabad, where the drugmaker is based, will also receive the first consignment. Hetero said a 100-milligram vial of the drug will cost RS.5400. The company has set a target to produce one lakh vials of the drug in three-four weeks.
Currently, the drug is being manufactured at the company’s formulation facility in Hyderabad. The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is being made in the firm’s Visakhapatnam facility.
Drugmaker Cipla has also signed a licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc – the original manufacturer of Remdesivir – to make and sell the drug. Cipla has said its antiviral drug Remdesivir would be priced below Rs 5,000
The treatment was the first to show improvement in trials on COVID-19 patients and has won approval for emergency use in severely ill patients in the United States and South Korea, and received full approval in Japan. It is yet to be priced in the United States.
This morning, India, the fourth worst hit nation by the coronavirus, reported a total of 4.73 lakh infections and 14,894 deaths. Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh together account for over 80 percent of deaths in the country linked to the virus.