New Delhi: All seven domestic licensed manufacturers of Remdesivir have scaled up production from 38 lakh vials per month to nearly 119 lakh vials per month, following government directives, an official statement said.
With the accelerated approval of 38 additional manufacturing sites, the number of approved manufacturing sites of Remdesivir in the country has increased from 22 to 60. With the help of the Ministry of External Affairs, the manufacturers are being facilitated for getting supplies of requisite raw materials and equipment from foreign countries.
Meanwhile, Department of Pharmaceuticals intensified monitoring of availability, production and supply of drugs used for Covid-19 treatment in early April, as number of cases of Covid-19 started increasing steeply.
Remdesivir is a patented drug, manufactured in India under voluntary licenses granted by patent holder Gilead Life Sciences US to seven Indian pharmaceutical companies --Cipla, Dr Reddy's Lab, Hetero, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan, Syngene and Zydus Cadila.
According to the statement, all efforts are being made to enhance the availability of the drug, both through imports as well as augmented domestic production. Exports of Remdesiver has been prohibited since April 11, while customs duty has been exempted on Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in its manufacture with effect from April 20.
After the demand surged, the Central government has been making allocations to states and UTs since third week of April. Interim allocation of 11 lakh vials was made for 19 states and UTs with high demand on April 21 for period up to April 30. This allocation was increased to 16 lakh vials on April 24 as more supplies became available. In a series of allocations issued subsequently, with latest on May 16, 76 lakh vials in total have been allocated among states for period up to May 23.
The state governments and UT administrations have been asked to monitor proper distribution within their jurisdiction, covering both government as well as private hospitals, and in line with judicious use as advised in the "National Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult Covid-19 patients", issued jointly by the AIIMS/ICMR Covid-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
All the seven Indian manufacturers have been making supplies to states as per the allocation both against government purchase orders and also through their private distribution channels in states. A total of 54.15 lakh vials of Remdesivir have been supplied across the country by the drug companies during April 21-May 15, the statement said.