India has banned the export of Remdesivir injection and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used for making the coronavirus medication till the recent surge in COVID-19 cases subsides.
India has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with the second wave of the pandemic. As of Sunday, the number of active cases stood at 11.08 lakh, and this figure is steadily rising, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. "This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in treatment of COVID patients. There is a potential of further increase in this demand in the coming days," it further added.
Currently, seven Indian companies are producing Remdesivir injections under voluntary licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences. These producers have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.
Union Health Ministry said it is taking measures to ensure easy access to Remdesivir for hospitals and patients. All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display details of their stockists and distributors on their website to facilitate access to the drug.
Drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks and take "effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing". The State Health Secretaries will review this with the drug inspectors of the respective states and union territories.
Health Ministry said that the Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir.
The central government has also advised the States to adhere to the extant National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 for treatment of patients infected with the virus. This protocol lists Remdesivir as an investigational therapy. This direction should be conveyed to hospitals and compliance should be monitored, the Health Ministry stated.
(Edited by Vivek Punj)
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