did not confirm the development. Sources say Cipla-BDR’s favipiravir will be at least 30 per cent cheaper than Glenmark’s price of Rs 103 per tablet.
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Most companies, however, will go for contract manufacturing of the drug and market it under its own brand name. Glenmark
is making it at Baddi and BDR will make it for Cipla.
“At least 50 brands are expected to hit the market within a month,” said an industry insider. Prashanth Reddy, director of Optimus Pharma, said their proposal was lying before the DCGI. “We have submitted all relevant data and the proposal will now be reviewed by the Subject Expert Committee. We can make 1 million tablets in one batch. Depending on demand, we can make around ten batches in a month," Reddy said.
This implies Optimus can potentially supply 10 million tablets to the Indian market every month. It plans to export under its own brand and forge partnerships with domestic companies for India. These companies will use their marketing muscle to sell the drug in the retail market.
Analysts peg the market size for the drug to be around Rs 200-300 crore, as not every patient would be prescribed a course of Rs 3,500 for a pack of 34 tablets (the Glenmark
price). Another industry source revealed that the pricing correction in this case is not only inevitable but also in patient interest. “If a family of four gets the disease and is prescribed this drug, their cost would be Rs 14,000 only on favipiravir,” he said.
The price of the drug may come down to Rs 60 a tablet or so soon, felt the industry.
Remdesivir, too, has witnessed price war with Hetero and Cipla pricing it differently.
Price erosion due to competition in India is common. After Novartis patent expired for anti-diabetic drug vildagliptin, its price has crashed in the domestic market. The drug, priced around Rs 25-28 per tablet, is now made available in the market for Rs 5 a tablet by other brands.