New Delhi: India has ordered 4,50,000 vials of antiviral drug Remdesivir from US and Egyptian pharmaceutical companies, out of which 75,000 vials are expected to reach the country on Friday, the government said.
“It is expected that Gilead Sciences Inc. USA will dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,00 vials in the next one or two days. Further one hundred thousand quantities will also be supplied before or by May 15. Egyptian Pharma Company EVA pharma will supply approximately 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July,’ Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said in a statement.
It said the government has ramped up the production capacity of Remdesivir in the country.
As on April 27, the production capacity of the seven licensed domestic manufacturers increased from 38 lakh vials per month to 1.03 crore vials per month. Total 13.73 lakh vials have been supplied across the country by the Drug companies in the last seven days (21-28 April, 2021). The daily supply has gone up from 67,900 vials on April 11 to 2.09 lakh vials on April 28.
An advisory was issued by MHA to states and UTs to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.
Government also prohibited the export of Remdesivir to enhance its availability in India. To ensure affordability of the injection among the masses, NPPA on April 17 released the revised maximum retail price thus bringing down the cost of all the major brands to below Rs 3500 per vial.
In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue on April 20 exempted the customs duty on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in manufacture of Remdesivir, till October 31.