The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has asked the pharma companies selling anti-viral injection Remdesivir to set up helpline and make available their drug distribution network to the people looking out for the life saving drugs used for treatment of the Covid-19 patients.
The move followed complaints from various quarters that the drug whose MRP is between Rs 4,800 to Rs 5,400 per vial is in acute short supply and being sold in black market at as high as upto Rs 80,000 per vial.
Union Health Ministry OSD Rajesh Bhsuhan said that they have received reports of shortage of drug in the market. “In this connection, the top drug regulator has asked the concerned companies to set up helplines and make available their drug distribution network to help the people access the injection easily and at MRP,” he said at a presser here.
Doctors have been blaming increased demand and limited supply of the medicine for its shortage. On June 13, the Ministry had allowed its emergency use for treating Covid-19 patients with moderate symptoms. An increase in cases around the country has seen more doctors prescribing the drug , but supply hasn’t increased proportionately. Patients prescribed the drug are typically given five vials.
The DCGI on June 1 had allowed Gilead Sciences, which holds the patent for Remdesivir, to start importing the medicine. Three Indian manufacturers – Hetero, Cipla, and Mylan-- have since been allowed to manufacture the drug in India.