The Centre has stopped allocation of antiviral drug Remdesivir to states as the supply of the critical medication has surpassed the demand, Union Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya said on Saturday.
"Now the country has enough #Remdesivir as the supply is much more than the demand. So we have discontinued the central allocation of Remdesivir to States," Mandaviya said in a tweet.
The Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers noted that the supply of the drug being used to treat Covid-19 has been ramped up over 10 times from just 33,000 vials a day from April 11, 2021, to 3,50,000 vials per day currently.
The government has also increased the number of plants producing Remdesivir from just 20 to 60 plants within a month, he added.
Besides, the Centre has bought 50 lakh vials of Remdesivir to maintain it as a strategic stock for emergency requirements, Mandaviya said.
"But I have also directed @nppa_india & @CDSCO_INDIA_INF to continuously monitor the availability of Remdesivir in the country," he noted.
To improve supply, the government has already waived customs duty on Remdesivir, its raw materials, and other components used in making the antiviral drug to help augment domestic availability and reduce the cost of the injection.
On April 11, because of increased demand for Remdesivir, the Centre banned the export of the injection and its active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) till the situation improves.
With the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases, India had banned the export of Remdesivir last month. The unprecedented rise in the Covid cases led to a " sudden spike in demand " for Remdesivir injections, the government had said that time.
Following the intervention of the government, various drug companies have also cut the prices of Remdesivir injection.
Also, the center and states are taking care to ensure that the hospitals have sufficient medical supplies after distress messages being circulated on social media caught the world's attention.