New Delhi, Aug 13 (efe-epa).- India pharmaceutical company Cadila Healthcare announced on Thursday that it was launching a generic version of antiviral drug remdesivir, which is being used for treating serious cases of COVID-19 at a more competitive price for the Indian market.
The medication, which will be sold under the brand name Remdac, will be priced at around 2,800 rupees ($36) for a 100 mg injection, the company said in a statement.
This makes the product the cheapest in the market compared to other generic versions launched by Indian companies such as Cipla or Hetero, which are priced between $50-$60.
“Remdac is the most affordable drug as we would like to enable patients to have access to this critical drug in the treatment of COVID 19”, said Sharvil Patel, the Managing Director of Cadila Healthcare Limited, also known as Zydus Cadila.
The medicine would be available from Thursday in public and private hospitals across India, the third worst affected country in terms of the number of coronavirus cases and also one of the world’s biggest manufacturers and suppliers of pharmaceutical drugs.
The country had registered nearly 2.4 million confirmed Covid-19 cases – only behind the United States and Brazil – and over 47,000 deaths by Thursday, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
The launch of the new version of remdesivir comes amid local media reports of severe shortage of the medicine and a flourishing black market trade.
Cadila said it had signed a non-exclusive agreement in July with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc – the main producer of the antiviral drug – to manufacture and sell the product and increase its global supply if needed.
The drug, which was issued an “emergency use” authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration without giving it a full approval, has demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms in clinical trials.
In an assurance about the drug’s stocks, Gilead said last week that by October it would be capable of producing sufficient doses for the entire world, and was prepared to deliver two million doses by the end of the year. EFE-EPA