Friday, June 24, 2022

HLL Lifecare Ltd to import 4.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir

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New Delhi: The government has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease its shortage in the country. According to a press release from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the first consignment of 75,000 vials will reach India by Friday. HLL Lifecare Limited has ordered 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir from Gilead Sciences USA and Egyptian Pharma Company, Eva Pharma. It is expected that USA's Gilead Sciences will dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,000 vials in the next one or two days. Further, 100,000 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 government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. As of 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. A total of 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by drug companies in the last seven days (April 21 to 28). The daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on April 11 to 2.09 lakh vials on April 28. An advisory was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to states and UTs to facilitate the smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.

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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, released the revised maximum retail price, thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below Rs 3,500 per vial.

In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue exempted the whole of the duty of Customs on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in the manufacture of Remdesivir till October 31.

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 Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) on April 22. The updated protocol will encourage judicious use of drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising demand.

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