As the number of coronavirus patients is surging, pharma companies have slashed the price of antiviral drug remdesivir which was being sold in the black market at hiked rates amid heightened demand in the wake of surging Covid-19 cases.
Drug companies like Cadila Healthcare, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and Cipla have cut the prices of their respective brands of remdesivir injection (100 mg/vial). Many of the firms have slashed the price of the ‘life-saver drug by nearly 50 percent.
As many as 860 injections of Remdesivir drug, which is in high demand for treating COVID-19 patients, were found “stolen” from the stock of the government-run Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, police said.
“860 Remdesivir injections were found stolen. We are investigating,” Bhopal Deputy Inspector General of Police Irshad Wali told PTI.
A notification by the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers on Saturday said that on the intervention of the Government, major manufacturers/marketers of remdesivir injection have reported a voluntary reduction in the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
The sharpest price cut was by Zydus Cadila which reduced the price of its brand Remdac from R2,800 for a 100mg vial to R899, followed by Redyx by Dr. Reddy’s whose price went from R5,400 per vial to R2,700, according to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.
“On Govt’s intervention, major Manufacturers of #Remdesivir have voluntarily reduced its MRP ranging from ₹5400 to less than ₹3500 by 15.04.2021…,” Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers Sadananda Gowda said in a tweet.
The announcement comes days after the Centre held a meeting with major manufacturers of the drug to discuss measures taken to increase production and supply and reduce prices of remdesivir.
According to the national treatment protocol, injected remdesvir is one of the investigational drugs approved for use in treating hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
The drug controller general of India, Dr. VG Somani, directed enforcement authorities of states and the central government to take immediate action on black-marketing, hoarding and overcharging for the drug.