What: Pharmaceutical firm Cipla is all set to launch a more affordable version of Favipiravir, for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. An off-patent antiviral drug, Favipiravir, originally developed by Fuji Pharma in Japan, has shown promise in clinical trials for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, especially in mild and moderate cases.
- How: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) developed a cost-effective process using locally available chemicals to synthesise this Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and transferred the technology to Cipla.
Why: Last month, India’s drug regulator had granted emergency-use authorisation to Glenmark Pharma’s favipiravir to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 patients. But this week, the drug controller slapped a notice on Glenmark for the high price of its drug.
Glenmark, however, defended the price saying it is the cheapest drug compared to other Covid-19 therapies like remdesivir, tocilizumab, and Itolizumab. The drug controller’s notice had also questioned the company over false claims made on the efficacy of the drug on patients with comorbid conditions like hypertension and diabetes.