India prohibits exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir amidst recent surge in Covid-19 cases
Seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA
In view of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases with 11.08 lakh active cases as on Sunday, India has prohibited exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir injections and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation in the country improves.
“Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” a statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Sunday.
“India is witnessing a recent surge in COVID cases, it added. As on 11 April, there are 11.08 lakh active COVID cases and they are steadily increasing. This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in treatment of COVID patients,” it reasoned.
There is a potential of further increase in this demand in the coming days, the statement observed.
Seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA, it said. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month, the statement informed.
The MoHFW also detailed 3 steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir.
One, all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors to facilitate access to the drug.
Second, drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks and check their malpractices and also take other effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing. The State Health Secretaries will review this with the Drug Inspectors of the respective States/UTs.
Third, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir.
The union government has also advised the States that the extant, ‘National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19,’ which is based on evidence, has been developed after many interactions by Committee of Experts, and is the guiding document for treatment of Covid-19 patients, the MoHFW statement further said.
In the Protocol, Remdesivir is listed as an Investigational Therapy, i.e. where informed and shared decision making is essential, besides taking note of contra indications mentioned in the detailed guidelines.
All States and Union Territories have been advised that these steps should again be communicated to all hospitals, both in public and private sector, and compliance monitored, said the statement.