Hindustan Times (Jammu)

Cipla doubles covid drug remdesivir’s production in India

- Feedback@livemint.com

India’s Cipla Ltd has doubled production of Covid-19 medication remdesivir to help meet “unpreceden­ted demand” as the country battles a massive second wave of infections, the drugmaker said on Tuesday.

India has overtaken Brazil as the world’s second-worst coronaviru­s-hit country after the US, having administer­ed about 107 million vaccine doses among a population of 1.4 billion.

On Sunday, the country banned the export of anti-viral drug remdesivir and its active pharmaceut­ical ingredient­s to deal with crippling shortages of the medication in many parts.

“We have scaled up the production of remdesivir by 2x from the last wave of the pandemic,” Cipla said in a statement to Reuters. “Given the unpreceden­ted demand for the drug, we have now further ramped up our capacities through our network.”

The company is working with authoritie­s to restrict remdesivir supply just to hospitals and places with a high burden of severe Covid-19 cases, it added.

Just two months ago, Cipla had projected falling demand for remdesivir in India as coronaviru­s infections were on a steady decline.

The World Health Organizati­on in November issued a conditiona­l recommenda­tion against the use of remdesivir in hospitalis­ed patients, saying there was no evidence that the drug improved survival and other outcomes. Still, many countries, including India, have continued its use.

Cipla, one of India’s oldest and largest drug manufactur­ers, has a deal to make and supply US-based Gilead’s remdesivir in more than 100 countries. Several other Indian drugmakers also have similar agreements.

Cipla also warned that it was facing a shortage of tocilizuma­b, an arthritis drug developed by Roche that has been shown in trials to reduce the risk of death in patients with severe COVID-19. “We expect intermitte­nt supplies (of tocilizuma­b) as demand outstrips supply,” Cipla said.

 ?? AFP ?? On Sunday, India banned the export of remdesivir.
AFP On Sunday, India banned the export of remdesivir.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India