Pharma firms ramp up Remdesivir output

There is no need for any apprehension over Remdesivir. Steps are being taken to increase manufacture of the drug and the State will get adequate supplies

Medicine Injection Vaccine
Picture: Pixabay

BENGALURU: As the shortage of Remdesivir, one of the drugs used in treating C-19 patients, remains a major concern, especially in private hospitals, the Centre on Friday assured Karnataka of adequate supply of the drug. Pharmaceutical companies are significantly increasing their manufacturing capacity to meet the sudden surge in demand. 

Although an additional allocation (quota) of 25,000 vials was made to Karnataka on Thursday, taking the total allocation to over 50,000 vials till this month-end the State government has asked the Centre to increase allocation further.

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There is no need for any apprehension over Remdesivir. Steps are being taken to increase manufacture of the drug and the State will get adequate supplies,” Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda told reporters after visiting Mylan Laboratories Limited facility in Bengaluru on Friday.

Medicine Vaccine
Picture: Pixabay

The company released 15,000 doses of the drug to the state on Friday. Seven big firms in the country, including Mylan, manufacture Ramdesivir. Seventy per cent of the drugs manufactured by them has to be supplied to state governments and hospitals, as directed by the Centre, and the remaining 30 per cent is to be used by the company to meet earlier commitments, he said.

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“Karnataka was allocated 25,000 vials on Wednesday. The CM and Health Minister told me it is too less and the State requires close to 2 lakh vials by the end of this month. I immediately got an additional allocation of 25,000 vials to the state on Thursday.

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We need more and steps are being taken to provide adequate supply of drugs. Manufacturing units are increasing their production by two to three times,” the minister said. “Karnataka will get additional supply in due course and within a week, everything will be resolved.” 

Gowda said he is also talking to all companies to ensure Karnataka gets adequate supplies. He also warned of stern action against those involved in black marketing of drugs. On Friday, during the Prime Minister’s videoconference with chief ministers of states reporting a high number of C-19 cases, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa requested for an increase in the state’s quota of Remdesivir.

Sources in the Health department told TNIE that the state currently has stock of 30,000 doses and the government is procuring another 2 lakh doses.

“We have sufficient doses in the state warehouse. In the private market, private suppliers are making it available. Since the quota allocated to Karnataka is less than actual demand, it is leading to some discrepancies, so we are asking for more,” sources said. “Allocation of quota by the central government is an indication to companies to supply that quantity to states. We are also procuring  2 lakh doses.” 

While the drug will be made available to government hospitals from the government’s stock, the private sector is managing the situation on a day-to-day basis, sources said.

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