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COVID wave: India bans export of Remdesivir amid shortage of drug

In view of the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases in India, the Centre on Sunday decided to ban the export of the drug Remdesivir which is used in the treatment of Covid-19.

The decision comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases and a clamour for Remdesivir, a drug considered useful in the treatment of the infection.

The centre in a statement said, “Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves”.

Seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.

The centre has advised domestic manufacturers of the drug to display details of their distributors on their website to facilitate access to the drug.

It has also directed drug officers to check malpractices by distributors which can lead to hoarding and black marketing of the Remdesivir.

On Sunday, Union minister Nitin Gadkari called up Sun Pharma’s chief to arrange for 10,000 injections of Remdesivir in Nagpur in view of a shortage of the medicine in Maharashtra.

On April 9, several areas in Madhya Pradesh saw people queueing up outside medical stores for the drug, with some of them, agitated at not getting it, even blocking a road in Indore for a brief while.

Remdesivir is considered a key medicine in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications.

The National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 lists Remdesivir as an investigational therapy, where informed and shared decision making is essential.

(With PTI inputs.)