Worst-hit Delhi, Maharashtra among 5 states to receive Covid-19 dug made in India
The drug will not be available for retail sale and will be provided only through hospitals and the government
Delhi and Maharashtra, two of the worst-affected states in the country, are among the first to receive the experimental COVID-19 drug Remdesivir.
Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, will also receive the first batch of the drug manufactured and marketed by Hyderabad-based drug manufacturer Hetero. Being marketed as COVIFOR in India, a 100 mg vial of the drug will cost Rs 5,400.
The company has set a target of producing one lakh vials of the drug in the next three to four weeks, a report by NDTV has said.
The next batch of the drug will be shipped to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Kochi, Trivandrum and Goa.
The drug will not be available for retail sale and will be provided only through hospitals and the government, the report quoted Hetero Group of Companies MD Vamsi Krishna Bandi as saying.
In keeping with medical guidelines, the drug will not be administered to those who have liver disease or kidney failure and pregnant or lactating women.
In addition to Hetero, the Drug Controller General of India has also approved the generic version of drug Remdesivir made by Cipla for restricted emergency use to treat severe Covid-19 cases.
Treatment using the drug has shown improvement during trials on Covid-19 patients. Several countries including the United States and South Korea have approved its use in the case of severely-ill patients.
According to official data, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh together account for over 80 per cent of Covid-19 linked deaths in the country.
India recorded over 4.73 lakh cases of Covid-19 till Thursday morning; the number of deaths stands at 14,894.