US-based Gilead Sciences has said its authorized producers in India are free to settle the cost of Remdesivir, the experimental drug utilized for treating Covid-19 patients, which its claim brand of the medicate will be accessible within the nation from following month. Prior this week, Gilead received emergency approval from India’s drug controller to sell Remdesivir under the brand title Veklury.
Gilead has authorized the drug to four companies — CiplaNSE 2.59 %, Mylan, Hetero and Jubilant Life SciencesNSE 4.99 % for deal in India, but none of these firms has received approval from the drug controller.
A private doctor in Mumbai said distributors of Hetero Pharma, one of the licensees in India, are citing ₹7,000 per 100 mg vial for the generic version of Remdesivir ahead of its formal approval. At this cost, a five-day full course, which was endorsed by the Indian authorities on Monday would cost ₹35,000-42,000.
Gilead’s claim brand Veklury is estimated at $4,460 (₹3.34 lakh) within the US for a full treatment course. Biopharma site EndPoints gauges that Remdesivir will be estimated at $4,000 per course in Europe and $2,000 in other markets. Remdesivir’s global deals are likely to touch $1.9 billion by the end of the year.
Government authorities said they have not taken view on the medicine’s estimating, but included that the medicate pricing controller can conjure section 19 of the Drug Price Control Order of 2013 that engages the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to fix the cost of any pharmaceutical in public interest.
“The government is empowered to allow an increase or decrease in the ceiling price or retail price, irrespective of the annual wholesale price index for that year. Further, the drug price control order allows the NPPA to make an enquiry or seek information, if considered necessary in public interest,” said a senior official. “We have placed orders for the drug (Remdesivir), but are yet to receive it,” said Dr. Hiren Ambegaonkar, CEO of Raheja Fortis Hospital in Mumbai. The drug has been used in some government hospitals under the WHO’s solidarity trial.
Keeping in view the urgent need for the drug, Gilead said it has scaled up production to increase supply. “While there is currently limited global supply of Remdesivir, the company anticipates new supply to start becoming available in July, with supply continuing to increase through the end of this year and into next year,” the company said in its statement.