Cipla has launched the generic version of COVID-19 treatment drug remdesivir at a price which is among the lowest globally, according to a PTI report. The pharma major is looking to supply over 80,000 vials within the first month. The drug is priced at ₹4,000 per 100 mg vial, Cipla said in a statement.
Remdesivir is the only drug approved by United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) treatment of adult and paediatric patients hospitalised with suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection.
Cipla had earlier said the drug will be priced at less than ₹5,000 per 100 mg vial in line with its overall philosophy of driving access and affordability.
"We are proud to commercially launch Cipremi today; amongst the lowest priced globally, and aim to supply over 80,000 vials within the first month itself," Cipla Executive VP and CEO (India Business) Nikhil Chopra said in an e-mailed statement to PTI.
To further ensure equitable distribution, the drug will be available through government and hospital channels only, the company added. "Cipla will also be donating some amount of the drug as part of its efforts to support the community in this time of need," Chopra said.
Cipremi has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use in the country as part of the accelerated approval process considering the urgent and unmet medical need.
Pharmaceutical major Mylan NV on Monday has said that its generic version of remdesivir will be priced at ₹4,800 per 100 mg vial. Hyderbad-based drug firm Hetero has said it has fixed a maximum retail price of ₹5,400 per vial for the drug.
In May, domestic pharma firms Hetero, Cipla and Jubilant Life Sciences entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements with drug major Gilead Sciences Inc for manufacturing and distribution of remdesivir.
Covaxin, India's first possible vaccine against COVID-19 will soon start its human trial. The proess had already been initiated by Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). Developed by Bharat Biotech, the Covaxin will be tested on over 1,100 people in two phases. The company had a plan to enroll 375 participants to test COVID-19 vaccine candidate this month.
"We will select healthy individuals and draw blood and send the blood samples to designated labs in New Delhi. They will give the green signal. Then the medicine people will examine and the first shot of the vaccine will be given due observation," NIMS director Dr K Manohar told.
(With PTI inputs)