As demand soars, Remdesivir makers ramp up production

A surge in demand, amid a steep increase in COVID-19 positive cases, as well as reports of the drug being in short supply is making pharma companies ramp up production of anti-viral Remdesivir drug.

“We are ramping up production and are also bringing to market a liquid product that is faster to make and supply,” said Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, one of the few companies in Hyderabad making Remdesivir.

The Hetero group is one of the largest producers of Remdesivir in the country and according to sources, it has also ramped up production. Mylan is another company that makes the drug, while there are a few other firms in Hyderabad that produce the active pharmaceutical ingredient (APIs) of the drug.

Sources said the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country has again turned spotlight on Remdesivir, whose demand had started slowing down about three months ago. But with the second wave of COVID-19, it changed fast giving little time for the company to ramp up production.

The Centre also recently banned export of Remdesivir as well as its APIs in the face of the rising domestic demand as also reports of a shortage leading to unscrupulous elements selling the vials at prices many times over the prescribed rates. According to sources, the situation with regard to Remdesivir was pretty much so long as it was being supplied directly to the hospitals, but with easing of the norms and the rise in the number of people testing positive, things began to deteriorate.

In response to the export ban, Hetero said, as one of the largest manufacturers of Remdesivir in the country, “our primary focus has always been to fulfil our country’s requirements. As per the current government’s directive on export restrictions, Hetero has minimum impact. We are also working to enhance deliveries considering the surge in cases”.

Dr. Reddy’s, which markets Remdesivir under the Redyx brand, has also announced a reduction in the MRP by 50% “so that price is not a barrier to access and a much larger number of patients can access it”. The company said it has a dedicated website (https://www.readytofightcovid.in/) updated in real-time with city-wise availability of Redyx at stockists and hospitals. It has also up a dedicated patient helpline, 1800-266-7080.

“We expect the market situation on supplies to ease in the next few weeks,” the drugmaker said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 9:32:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/as-demand-soars-remdesivir-makers-ramp-up-production/article34321006.ece

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