Cadila to raise Remdesivir output amid COVID-19 surge, says source

Informist, Monday, Apr 5, 2021


–Source:Cadila Health's current remdesivir capacity 30,000 vial/day

–Govt officials evaluating reports of remdesivir shortage

–Cadila Health in talks with govt to up remdesivir output


By Sunil Raghu


AHMEDABAD – Cadila Healthcare Ltd will increase the production of Remdesivir injections, used for treatment of COVID-19 patients, a company source told Informist.


The plan follows an earlier announcement that the company had cut prices of the drug by 67.9% due to the rising incidence of COVID-19 infections and to improve affordability for patients.


"Yes, we plan to raise production capacity," source said.


Cadila Healthcare currently makes 30,000 vials of Remdesivir per day.


According to reports, the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority have started a special drive to check the stock positions of Remdesivir and other COVID drugs in states, particularly those struggling with higher COVID-19 cases.


Remdesivir is being administered to those with COVID-19 because of its ability to inhibit the growth of the

virus, and the reduced need for stay in hospitals.


A source said that Cadila Healthcare was in connect with the health ministry to gauge the extent of production required to be scaled up. In June, the company had signed a non-exclusive agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and sell Remdesivir in India.

On Friday, H.G. Koshia, food and drugs commissioner of Gujarat, told reporters that the state had a little over 32,000 doses of Remdesivir, including 19,000 at depots of the makers of this injection. The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the state then stood at 13,559, which had risen to 15,135 by Sunday evening.


Today, Montu Patel, president of the Gujarat State Pharmacy Council, said the demand for Remdesivir in the state stood at about 10,000 injections per day, but the inflow was about 3,000 injections.


"Not one dealer in Ahmedabad has Remdesivir and shortage is primarily being led and faced by patients in private hospitals," he said.


The senior management of Cadila Healthcare said the company was witnessing an increased demand, as theirs was a "very economical" product.


Cadila had cut the price of Remdesivir injection to 899 rupees per 100 mg lyophilised injection from the 2,800 rupees per vial it charged earlier. It had claimed that this was done to increase access to the drug used to treat severe COVID-19 patients in hospitals.


The other companies that manufacture Remdesivir for the Indian market include Cipla, Mylan, Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero Drugs, Syngene International and Dr Reddy's Laboratories. These companies continue to price their brands of Remdesivir much higher than RemdacTM of Cadila Healthcare. It was not immediately clear whether these companies were also planning to raise their output of Remdesivir.


At 1327 IST, shares of Cadila Healthcare were trading 0.3% lower at 440.6 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.  End


IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Avishek Dutta


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