Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that has been approved to treat COVID-19 patients.
The emergency use authorization of remdesivir allows it to be distributed across the country, administered intravenously in confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Amidst this, several studies have found that anti-viral drug Remdesivir could be used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
While receiving full approval in Japan, at least two major USA studies also have shown that it can reduce the duration of hospital stays for Covid-19 patients.
Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given the nod to the generic versions made by Cipla and Hetero for restricted emergency use in severe COVID cases.
According to Hetero, a 100 mg vial of the drug will amount to Rs 5,400. the company has set a target to produce one lakh vials in 3-4 weeks.
Remdesivir is now given to patients intravenously through daily infusions in hospital.
The drug regulator, however, asserted that a written informed consent of each patient is required before the use of Remdesivir and results of additional clinical trials, active post-marketing surveillance data and reporting of serious adverse events have to be submitted to the government. It is but to be priced within the United States. It also said that the drug will be available in the next 8 to 10 days. This effect was not observed in patients with mild and moderate course of the disease: time to recovery was 5 days for both group of ramdevpir, and for the placebo group. "In our ongoing studies, we will work to deliver on that hope and potentially benefit more patients".
Gilead will also attempt IV infusions in other settings aside from hospitals, like at nursing homes, with the aim of avoiding the need for hospitalisation. However, Reuters reported the drug could be priced up to $5,080 per course in the USA, while Indian generic drugmakers could sell treatments for 5,000 to 6,000 rupees ($66.13-$79.35).
Demand for the drug soared after it became a front-runner following promising trials.