Allow domestic use of Remdesivir not exported: Tope to Centre

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Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said they have requested the Centre to allow the Remdesivir stock, which has not been exported after a ban on it, to be distributed in the domestic market to bridge the gap in its demand and supply.

In view of a sudden spike in demand due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, India on Sunday banned the export of Remdesivir injections till the situation improves.

Remdesivir is listed for use in serious COVID-19 patients in the Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19 as an investigational therapy.

'We have requested the Centre to allow the exportable Remdesivir stock to be distributed in the domestic market. It will help in bridging the gap between the demand and supply of the medicine,' Tope told reporters here.

According to officials in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), around 40,000 injections of the medicine are currently being supplied in the state, but it is not adequate and there is a need of another 10,000 vials.

Tope said they have asked all the doctors treating COVID-19 patients to use Remdesivir judiciously.

'The state COVID-19 task force has given clear instructions on the use of Remdesivir, but we have still noticed its over-usage. It is one of the reasons for the shortage of the medicine in the state,” he said.

The minister said it takes about 15 days for the production of one batch of the drug doses (depending upon a company's production capacity), and he was hopeful that the supply would increase in the next seven days.

“The state government has decided to supply Remdesivir to every district, depending on the number of active cases (under medical supervision). It will streamline the availability of the medicine,” Tope said. PTI ND GK