Ahmedabad: Zydus Cadilla, the city based pharmaceutical major, has introduced India's cheapest version of Remdesivir.
In a drug filing notification, Zydus admitted that its new drug Remdac would be priced at Rs 2,800 ($37.44) per 100 miligram vial.
For those unaware, Remdesivir is referred to as a wonder drug that speeds recovery for patients detected of Covid-19. For a world that is yet to find the cure to the pandemic Covid, Remdesivir is an experimental drug that is fast acquired by everyone. In the month of July, the US administration was reported of having almost-bought the global stock of Remdesivir.
So far, Hetero Labs, Cipla, Mylan, and Jubilant Life Sciences have managed to roll out copies of Remdesivir in India. Cipla's remdesivir variant priced at $66 or Rs 5,000 entered the market sometime in June. Mylan's variant was introduced at a price of Rs 4,800 per vial. The first copy in Asia was Bangladesh's Beximco Pharmaceuticals that rolled a variant in May.
Sadly, the demand for Remdesivir and a profiteering mindset had resulted in vials of Remdesivir selling for Rs 65,000 in India's black-market.
Zydus in its filing said the drug will be made available across India through its strong distribution chain, "reaching out to Government and private hospitals treating COVID patients". This could help address remdesivir shortages in hospitals across the country.
In its filing, Dr Sharvil Patel, MD at Cadila Healthcare is reported as saying, "Remdac is the most affordable drug as we would like to enable patients to have access to this
critical drug in the treatment of COVID 19... Through the course of this pandemic, our efforts have been focused on supporting people in this healthcare crisis, whether it is through developing vaccines, ramping up production and distribution of critical drugs and therapies, making diagnostic tests available or exploring new treatment options."
Zydus entered into a non-exclusive agreement in June 2020 with Gilead Sciences Inc., to manufacture and sell Remdesivir, an investigational drug, issued an 'Emergency Use Authorization' by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients suffering from severe symptoms of COVID 19. The API for the drug has been developed and manufactured at Zydus' API manufacturing facilities in Gujarat.