India bans export of Remdesivir amid rising Covid-19 cases

at 6:58 pm
Remdesivir
Representational Image

New Delhi (NVI): India has prohibited exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the COVID-19 situation improves, as the country battles a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

India is witnessing a recent surge in COVID cases, which has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in treatment of COVID patients, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement today.

“As on 11.04.2021, there are 11.08 lakh active COVID cases and they are steadily increasing,” the Ministry said. It said that there is a potential of further increase in the demand of Injection Remdesivir in the coming days.

At present, seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.

In light of the above, India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves, the Ministry said.

The Government has also taken some steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir. All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors to facilitate access to the drug.

In addition to this, drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks and check their malpractices and also take other effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing. The State Health Secretaries will review this with the Drug Inspectors of the respective States/UTs.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir, the Health Ministry said.

The Centre has also advised the States that the extant ‚ÄúNational Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19″, which is based on evidence, has been developed after many interactions by Committee of Experts, and is the guiding document for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

In the Protocol, Remdesivir is listed as an Investigational Therapy, i.e. where informed and shared decision making is essential, besides taking note of contra indications mentioned in the detailed guidelines, as per the Ministry.

The States and UTs have been advised that these steps should again be communicated to all hospitals, both in public and private sector, and compliance monitored.

-ARK