The Government of India has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease out the shortage of Remdesivir in the country. The first Consignment of 75000 vials will reach India today.
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 1,00,00 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.
Government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country. As on 27.04.21, the production capacity of the seven licensed domestic manufacturers increased from 38 lakh vials per month to 1.03 crore vials per month. Total 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.
Government 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.
In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue vide Notification 27/2021-Customs dated 20th April exempted the whole of the duty of Customs on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in manufacture of Remdesivir, till 31st October 2021.
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 MoHFW on 22.04.2021. The updated protocol will encourage Judicious use of Drugs and is expected to contribute to rationalising demand.