India Ramps Up Remdesivir Production From 38 Lakh Vials Per Month to 74 Lakh Vials: Health Ministry

Remdesivir is not a life saving drug in #COVID19. It is to be administered only in the hospital settings.

Export of Remdesivir has also been prohibited in order to address the domestic demand. Meanwhile black marketing, hoarding of the anti-viral drug is also increasing across the country.

As Covid-19 cases increases at record high, India is facing a shortage of anti-viral Remdesivir. It is an experimental investigational drug that had been granted emergency authorisation for use on moderately sick Covid patients on oxygen support under hospital settings. In view of the sudden surge in demand for the anti-viral drug, the Indian government has ramped up the manufacturing capacity of the domestic Remdesivir manufacturers. "All support is being extended to manufacturers by the government in this endeavour. The production capacity is being ramped up from a current level of 38 lakh vials per month to 74 lakh vials per month, and 20 additional manufacturing sites have been approved. Export of Remdesivir has also been prohibited on April 11 in order to shore up domestic supplies," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, as reported by IANS.

The Centre has also made interim allocation of Remdesivir for 19 states/Union Territories with high Covid burden for the period up to April 30. The beneficiary states include Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Hoarding, black-marketing of Remdesivir increases

Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda recently said that the central government is strictly monitoring black marketing, hoarding of remdesivir and state governments have been asked to take strict action against those indulging in such malpractices. However, black-marketing of the anti-viral drug continues across the country amidst the massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

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Rajasthan police on Wednesday arrested six persons, including a medical store operator, for allegedly black marketing Remdesivir injections, after raids at 48 places across the state. A day before, four persons were arrested in Hyderabad for indulging in illegal sale of Remdesivir injections at exorbitant prices. According to police, the accused were selling Remdesivir injections for Rs 23,000 to customers, while the revised MRP is Rs 3,490. In Karnataka's Mysuru, a staff nurse of a private hospital was arrested on Monday for allegedly selling 'fake Remdesivir' to needy patients by refilling empty vials with cheap antibiotic medicines or saline solution. Police in Gujarat's Valsad district had on April 15 arrested a technical director of Daman-based Bruck Pharma for allegedly selling injections of the antiviral remdesivir injection in the black market, the Hindustan Times.

The Centre on Monday tweeted that Remdesivir is not a life saving drug and its "unnecessary or irrational" use on Covid patients is unethical.

With inputs form agencies

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