Exports of Remdesivir, a drug used in the treatment of Covid-19, have been banned by the central government, amid a rapid multiplication in infections in the country.
The health ministry says a ban to be in place until the ‘situation improves’ as India sees the sixth record daily rise in new infections in seven days.
Source of the image: Times of India.
Restrictions of the drug's use.
Companies have been asked to ramp up its production, details of their stockists or distributors to facilitate aid to the drug.
To curb hoarding and black marketing, drug inspectors and other officers have also been directed to check stocks their malpractices and take other further actions.
The anti-viral drug, Ebola, has proven useful in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Presently, seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under a voluntary licensing agreement.
Many cities across India witnessed an acute shortage of Remdesivir which in turn gave rise to black marketing.
In November, a conditional recommendation was issued against the use of remdesivir on hospitalized patients, claiming that there was no evidence or guarantee that the drug improved survival in these patients. However, many countries like India continued to use it.
Amid soaring infections, deaths have also surged, with the health ministry reporting 839 fatalities on Sunday, the highest in more than five-month.
States have been advised to follow the National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 which is based on evidence and includes Remdesivir as an investigational therapy, besides taking note of contraindications mentioned in the detailed guidelines.
“The States and UTs have been advised that these steps should again be communicated to all hospitals, both in public and private sector, and compliance monitored,” the health ministry said.
Seven Indian companies make the drug under a license agreement deal with Gilead Sciences, with a total installed capacity of about 4 million units per month.
The domestic pharma industry has also asked the central government to enforce a compulsory license under an "emergency use authorization" so that other manufacturers too can make the drug.
Under compulsory licensing, a government authority can license the use of a patented product to a third party, or government agency without the consent of the patent-holder.
India had earlier curbed the export of vaccines. Over 2.7 million shots were administered on Sunday, as per the union health ministry.