Featured image: An ampule of Remdesivir is pictured during a news conference in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Ulrich Perrey via REUTERS
Bengaluru: Drugmaker Mylan NV said on Monday it would launch its generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc’s COVID-19 treatment remdesivir in India this month at Rs 4,800 ($64.31) per 100 mg vial, as infections surge in the world’s third worst-hit country.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Mylan’s remdesivir version, to be called Desrem, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed severe incidences of COVID-19 in adults and children, the company said in a statement.
Mylan’s version comes after two Indian drugmakers, Cipla Ltd and privately-held Hetero Labs Ltd, launched their generic versions of the drug.
Cipla will price its version, Cipremi, at less than Rs 5,000, while Hetero has priced its version, Covifor, at Rs 5,400.
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Gilead has priced remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations. It has agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the US over the next three months, stirring concerns about availability elsewhere.
Remdesivir is in high demand after the intravenously-administered medicine helped to shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial. On Friday, it got conditional approval from the European Commission for use in severe COVID-19 patients.
Mylan said it was working toward expanding emergency use access for patients in the 127 low- and middle-income countries where it is licensed by Gilead Sciences to do so.
Gilead has signed licensing agreements with India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd, Syngene International Ltd and Zydus Cadila, listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, to make and sell remdesivir.
Cases of the novel coronavirus in India stood at 697,413 on Monday, health ministry data showed, while the death toll stood at nearly 20,000.