1 min read.Updated: 04 Aug 2020, 08:19 PM ISTLeroy Leo
Favipiravir is used to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 disease through an emergency use authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India
New Delhi: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Tuesday announced that it will launch favipiravir under the brand ‘FluGuard’ at ₹35 per pill, making it the cheapest brand of the antiviral drug in India.
Favipiravir is used to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 disease through an emergency use authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India.
Sun Pharmaceutical’s ‘FluGuard’ is the sixth generic of favirpiravir to be launched in India, with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd being the first to launch it in June after conducting a 150-patient clinical trial.
At ₹35 per tablet or ₹4,270 for a course, Sun Pharma’s brand will also be the cheapest as it is lower than Jenburkt Pharmaceuticals’ tablet at ₹39 per pill. An entire course of favipiravir requires 122 tablets over two weeks.
“We are launching FluGuard at an economical price to make the drug accessible to more and more patients thereby reducing their financial burden. This is in line with our continuous efforts to support India’s pandemic response," Kirti Ganorkar, Sun Pharma’s chief executive officer for India business, said in a statement.
FluGuard will be available in the market from this week.
While favipiravir has an emergency authorisation, the Indian regulator allowing use of the drug has also come under criticism for lack of data showing that it treated covid-19.
Early last month, a trial in Japan by the drug’s innovator Fujifilm group had yielded inconclusive results as covid-19 treatment.
However, about two weeks later, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said the top-line results of its phase 3 clinical trials for favipiravir showed 40% faster recovery compared to those on standard supportive care, but the primary outcome of viral clearance showed a lower rate.
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