1 min read.Updated: 14 Jul 2020, 06:41 AM ISTLeroy Leo
With this price reduction, the company was passing on the benefits it got from higher yields and better scale, as both the API and formulations are made at Glenmark’s facilities in India
NEW DELHI :
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd announced on Monday that it has reduced the price of its covid-19 drug FabiFlu by 27% to ₹75 per pill. The branded generic of favipiravir was earlier sold at ₹103 per pill.
With this price reduction, the company was passing on the benefits it got from higher yields and better scale, as both the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations are made at Glenmark’s facilities in India, the Mumbai-based drugmaker said.
“Our research shows that we launched FabiFlu in India at the lowest market cost as compared to the cost of favipiravir in other countries where it is approved. Now, we hope that this further price reduction will make it even more accessible to patients," said Alok Malik, senior vice-president and head of India business, at Glenmark.
The API is manufactured at the firm’s production facility in Gujarat, while the formulation is manufactured at the facility in Himachal Pradesh. The company cut the price at a time when rival Cipla Ltd was also conducting a trial for use of the drug, as per the government’s clinical trial registry.
The price of FabiFlu is much cheaper than the ₹600 per tablet in Russia, ₹378 per tablet in Japan, ₹350 per pill in Bangladesh, and ₹215 per tablet in China. The drugmaker also said that it has started a post-marketing surveillance study on FabiFlu to closely monitor the efficacy and safety of the drug in 1,000 patients who are prescribed with the oral antiviral as part of an open-label, multi-centre, single-arm study. “We expect this study to shed more light on the drug’s clinical effectiveness and safety in a large cohort of patients prescribed FabiFlu," Malik said.
The Drug Controller General of India had last month given approval to Glenmark’s branded generic of favipiravir after a trial of 150 patients that started in May. Approval for emergency use of the drug, however, has been criticized by experts due to lack of data and because the drug is used for patients with mild covid-19, who are usually cured at home with existing treatments such as paracetamol.
Meanwhile, Glenmark is conducting a trial on the use of favipiravir and umifenovir combination for the treatment of moderate, hospitalized covid-19 patients.