Sun Pharma to provide affordable Medicine for Covid-19 patients
India is seeing an increasing use of the medicines like Favipiravir, along with another antiviral, remdesivir by hospitals in the tackling of the Covid-19 virus. Looking at the increasing number of cases per day, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is now coming out with its own version of Favipiravir called FluGuard that is to cost Rs. 35 per 200mg tablet.
This has become the cheapest version of a medicine available to tackle the Covid-19 virus in India.
India has become the world’s third worst hit country with the Covid-19 virus. Originally developed by Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp as Avigan, Favipiravir somehow, does not have good prospects showing in Japan itself. This is because despite hype around its usage as a potential Covid-19 treatment by Japan’s prime minister, Avigan faced uncertain prospects in the country, dampened by disappointing clinical studies.
But somehow the same drug has received emergency approval in India in June that has been trying to tackle the cases through various means. Another Indian drugmaker, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd has also announced the launch of its version of remdesivir. Priced at Rs. 4700 per 100 mg, it is in vial form and therefore will prove to be more effective but does not work well for the general public on its pricing. Also, this is to be used in emergency cases only as stated by the company’s official statements made earlier and should not be administered as general treatment.
Jubilant is among the companies producing the drug under licence from U.S. based Gilead Sciences Inc. In July, the Drug Controller General Of India (DCGI) had given approval for a generic version of the Remdesivir drug to be administered intravenously. It was launched under brand name Desrem and was to be used in restricted emergency cases for Covid-19 patients. This drug came into high demand after the intravenously-administered medicine has shown excellent results in shortening hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.
It has also received conditional approval from the European Commission for use in severe COVID-19 patients. According to Health Ministry, Remdesivir being an extremely expensive drug, is recommended to be used only on extreme cases that are on oxygen support. Under clinical trials, the drug is not recommended for pregnant or lactating mothers and children below the age of 12 years or for patients with severe renal impairment and a high level of liver enzymes.