On Monday, the government announced that the domestic production ability of Remdesivir, an important drug used to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has increased to an unprecedented level, from 38 lakh vials per month to 119 lakh vials per month.
When the pandemic struck, the proprietary drug produced in India under voluntary licences issued by Gilead Life Sciences USA was extremely scarce. The increased demand for the medication even contributed to black marketing, hoarding, and the selling of counterfeit vials of the drug.
In a statement, the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers said that all seven domestic licenced Remdesivir manufacturers have been asked to ramp up production quickly in order to increase domestic production capacity. The production potential of licenced manufacturers has increased to unprecedented levels 38 lakh vials per month to nearly 119 lakh vials per month, thanks to the joint efforts of the central government and manufacturing companies, the statement said.
According to the ministry, the number of manufacturing sites has increased from 22 to 60 as a result of the expedited approval. Since April 11, exports of the medication have been prohibited, and custom duty has been waived on Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API, and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the drug’s development since April 20, according to the ministry.
The government also shared information on how Remdesivir was distributed throughout the country to states and union territories. On April 20, an interim allocation of 11 lakh vials was made for 19 states and UTs with high demand for the duration between April 20 and April 30. This allocation was increased to 16 lakh vials on April 24 due to increased supply in the availability chain, and all states and UTs were provided with the drug.