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EditorialMeet domestic need first

Meet domestic need first


In the backdrop of an alarming surge in the Covid -19 cases in again due to few worst Carona infected states, it is good that government has announced a ban on the export of Remdesivir till the situation in our own country improves.


Remdesivir is one of the critical drugs which are used to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients and it needs to be taken in five doses.

In the Covid-19 infection management, each injection priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,500 would take the treatment cost to Rs 20,000- 25,000 for the needed five doses during the treatment. There have been reports that the injection is being sold in the black market at double the price.


Remdesivir was launched in India in May last year and according to the ministry of ; seven Indian companies are producing the injection under a voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month and is being distributed in 127 countries including India. Many of these countries have been facing the burden of rising Covid-19 cases.

The Centre on Sunday said the export of the antiviral injection and its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) has been banned till the situation improves. To monitor the availability of the stocks and easy access of the drug to hospitals and patients, all domestic manufacturers of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website details of their stockists and distributors, the Union Health Ministry said.

Drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks, check malpractices and also take other effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing. State health secretaries will review this along with drug inspectors of the respective states and UTs, it said.

As of today, April 11, there are 11.08 lakh active cases reported and the number is steadily increasing every day. This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Remdesivir injection used in the treatment of Covid patients.

The potential of a further increase in this demand in the coming days cannot be ignored in view of the steep surge of Covid cases nationwide.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals in the ministry has already asked the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the drug's production to meet any eventuality keeping in view the enormous scale of the vaccination campaign.

The centre has also directed states and the union territories that the extant ‘ Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19', which is based on evidence, has been developed after many interactions by a committee of experts and it is the guiding document for treatment of Covid-19 infected. In the protocol, Remdesivir is listed as an investigational therapy, i.e. were informed and shared decision making is essential, besides taking note of contra-indications mentioned in the detailed guidelines. States and UTs have been advised that these steps should again be ensured in all hospitals, both in the public and private sector and compliance monitored.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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