April 15, 2021 3:40:03 am
In an effort to offset a shortage of Covid-19 antiviral remdesivir, the government has fast-tracked approval for additional sites to make the drug in the country, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said on Wednesday.
The approvals, coupled with an additional production capacity of around 30 lakh vials a month that has already been lined up, will help boost monthly production of the drug to nearly 80 lakh vials, it said. Manufacturers have also volunteered to reduce price of the drug to “less than Rs 3,500” by the end of this week, the ministry stated.
“Fast-track approval has been given for seven additional sites having the production capacity of 10 lakh vials/month to six manufacturers. Another 30 lakh vials/month production is lined up,” the ministry stated. “This would ramp up production capacity for manufacturing to around 78 lakh vials/month.”
The current total installed capacity of the seven manufacturers of remdesivir is 38.80 lakh vials per month. Production had plummeted in the last three months due to a low number of cases. As a result, patients have been struggling to procure vials of the drug amid a surge in cases and hospitalisations.
Following a ban on exports of remdesivir on Sunday, supplies of approximately 4 lakh vials meant for shipments outside are being diverted to fulfil domestic requirements. have been directed to give priority to fulfil hospital and institutional-level supplies.
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