Hetero and Cipla received approval from the country’s drug regulator to launch the drug this weekend. Hetero said it is set to deliver the first set of 20,000 vials in two equal lots of 10,000 each, one of which will be immediately despatched to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra.
The other lot will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Trivandrum, and Goa within a week’s time to meet emergency requirements.
M Srinivasa Reddy, MD, Hetero Healthcare, said: “Through Covifor, we hope to reduce the treatment time of a patient in a hospital, thereby reducing the increasing pressure on the medical infrastructure, overburdened currently due to accelerating Covid-19 infection rates. We are working closely with the government and the medical community to make Covifor quickly accessible to both public and private health care settings across the country.”
Hetero had earlier told Business Standard it is diverting some of its export stocks to the Indian market to meet local demand. Hetero has even started a toll-free helpline to support doctors and hospitals interested in procuring the drug.
The drug is available in a 100-mg injectable vial. It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital (critical care setting) under supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
Meanwhile, Glenmark is also working towards making favipiravir available soon across the country. The company has already made it available in Delhi, Haryana, and Himachal — these are areas near the site of manufacturing in Baddi.
Within a week, the drug will be available across the country.
Sources claim Cipla’s price would lower by 30 per cent, compared to Glenmark’s. The company did not verify this.
A source close to the development said while mild patients are to be given favipiravir, if someone does not show symptoms of fever, clinicians may choose not to do so. Each tablet costs Rs 103 and Glenmark is selling it as a pack of 34 tablets. “Around 1,000-2000 patients per day would be prescribed favipiravir,” added a source.
Some companies have geared up to launch the drug and more brands will hit the market in a month’s time, bringing prices down.
Sources claim Cipla’s price would lower by 30 per cent, compared to Glenmark's. The company did not verify this.