Intensifying the domestic production capacity of Remdesivir, a drug proven effective in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, seven licensed Indian manufacturers in assistance with the central government have increased the production capacity from 38 lakh vials per month to nearly 119 lakh vials per month.
Remdesivir is a patented drug, manufactured in India under voluntary licenses granted by Gilead Life Sciences USA, the patent holder, to Indian pharmaceutical companies like Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s Lab., Hetero, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan, Syngene, and Zydus Cadila.
With the accelerated approval of 38 additional production sites, the number of approved manufacturing sites of Remdesivir in India has gone up, from earlier 22 sites to 60 sites at present.
Additionally, the External Affairs Ministry has facilitated the production capacity of the drug by ensuring requisite raw materials and equipment from foreign countries to domestic manufacturers of the drug.
Further to enhance the domestic availability of the drug, exports of Remdesiver have been banned since 11th April 2021 and customs duty has been exempted on the Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API, and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), used in the production of Remdesivir with effect from 20th April 2021.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers intensified the monitoring of production, availability, and supply of drugs since early April 2021. Besides, to ensure the systemic distribution of Remdesivir among different states of the country, the central government has been allocating the medicine to states and UTs since the third week of April.
Between April 21 to April 30, more than 11 lakh vials were allocated to 19 states and UTs in the country. Subsequently, the allocation was further increased as more supplies were made available. On May 16, approximately 76 lakh vials were allocated across the nation for a period up to May 23, 2021.
In total, 54.15 lakh vials ( for the period of 21st April-15th May 2021) have been supplied across the country as per the allocation both by government channel and also through their private distribution channels in states.