Hyderabad-based generic pharma major Hetero on Wednesday announced the launch of Favipiravir to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 cases. Launched under the brand name 'Favivir', it will soon be available in pharmacies against a medical prescription.
With this, close to 10 players -- Glenmark, Cipla and Dr Reddy's and others -- are either in the market or soon to launch. Currently, the drug is being sold in prices ranging between Rs 39 and Rs 75 per tablet for 200mg. Hetero has priced it at Rs 59 per tablet. Glenmark was the first to launch it on June 20 after clinical trials in India. It had then said that based on their data, 69.8 per cent of patients on this drug had recovered (the term they used was 'clinical cure') by day 4. Each patient is different and the dosage required will have to be decided by the physician concerned.
Hetero, Business Today learns, was granted the manufacturing and marketing approval for Favipiravir from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on July 22. Favivir is the second drug developed by Hetero after Covifor (Remdesivir) used in the treatment of COVID-19. It is an oral antiviral medication that has demonstrated positive clinical outcomes. A note issued by the company says that Favivir improves treatment accessibility to a significant amount of COVID-19 patient population, which usually sustains mild to moderate symptoms. Hetero's Favivir is marketed and distributed by Hetero Healthcare Limited. It is a pack of 34 tablets. The product is sold through retail medical outlets and made available in hospital pharmacies across the country and is to be sold only against a valid prescription.
The note also adds: "backed by strong vertical integration capabilities, the drug is being manufactured at our world-class formulation facility in India, which has been approved by stringent global regulatory authorities such as USFDA and the EU, among others."