Sun Pharma launches cheapest favipiravir brand in India, at Rs 35 a pill

Favipiravir is used for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 in India
Joining the long list of firms to launch its own brand of oral antiviral drug favipiravir, the country's largest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Tuesday launched the cheapest brand of favipiravir in the market - FluGuard. 

Priced at Rs 35 a tablet this will be the cheapest brand available so far. Jenburkt Pharma's brand Favivent is priced at Rs 39 per tablet. 

Favipiravir is used for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 in India. Favipiravir is the only oral anti-viral treatment approved in India for potential treatment of patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease.

Kirti Ganorkar, CEO of India Business, Sun Pharma said, “With over 50,000 Covid-19 cases being reported daily in India, there is an urgent need to provide more treatment options to healthcare professionals. We are launching FluGuard at an economical price to make the drug accessible to more and more patients thereby reducing their financial burden.” FluGuard will be available in market from this week. 

Recently, Hyderabad's Hetero launched the drug under Favivir brand priced at Rs 59 per tablet. 

Glenmark (FabiFlu) has priced at Rs 79 per tablet and the yet to be launched Cipla's Ciplenza (around Rs 68 per tablet).  

Already a host of other favipiravir brands have hit the market including smaller firms like Jenburkt Pharma, which has priced it competitively. 

More than half a dozen favipiravir brands are in market now and the innovator brand Avigan will be launched by Dr Reddy's Laboratories in August. DRL has remained tight-lipped about the pricing. 

The pricing pressure in this category is already visible as Glenmark revised its original price (Rs 103 per tablet) to Rs 79 per tablet within a month of the launch. 

Analysts felt that the rush to launch the drug is because it is oral and can be taken at home unlike the injectable drugs used in Covid. 

In June the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the use of favipiravir – an antiviral drug developed in Japan and commonly used for treating influenza – for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in India. 

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