COVID-19: Centre to discontinue allocation of Remdesivir to states

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COVID-19: Centre to discontinue allocation of Remdesivir to states
COVID-19: Centre to discontinue allocation of Remdesivir to states

29 May 2021: COVID-19: Centre to discontinue allocation of Remdesivir to states

The Indian government has decided to stop the central allocation of Remdesivir to states, citing sufficient supply of the antiviral drug being used to treat severe coronavirus patients. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, made this announcement on Twitter today. He, however, added that central agencies will continue to monitor the availability of the drug across the country.

Quote: 'Country has enough Remdesivir,' Mandaviya said

The decision implies that states will now have to procure Remdesivir directly from the manufacturers. "Now the country has enough #Remdesivir as the supply is much more than the demand. So we have decided to DISCONTINUE the Central Allocation of Remdesivir to States (sic)," Mandaviya tweeted this morning. He said the production of the drug has been scaled up over 10 times.

Details: Daily production upped from 33,000 vials to 3,50,000 vials

Between April 11 and today, the production of Remdesivir has been upped from 33,000 vials per day to 3,50,000 vials now, the Union Minister revealed. He informed the number of manufacturing plants has been increased from 20 to 60 in a span of one month, amid COVID-19 surge. The government will also set aside 50 lakh vials of the drug for an emergency situation.

Fact: 'GOI to maintain a strategic stock of Remdesivir'

"I have also directed NPPA & CDSCO to continuously monitor the availability of Remdesivir in the country. Government of India has also decided to procure 50 lakh vials of #Remdesivir to maintain it as a strategic stock for the emergency requirement (sic)," Mandaviya said.

Developments: Remdesivir demand spiked amid second COVID-19 wave

The demand for Remdesivir skyrocketed in India over the past couple of months as a ferocious second wave of infections hit the country. In view of that situation, the government had waived customs duty on Remdesivir and its raw materials and prohibited the exports of the drug. Later in April, the Centre began allocating the drug to states.

Other details: What is Remdesivir?

In a similar move, Centre had said last month that states could buy coronavirus vaccines directly from the manufacturers at pre-declared prices. However, that move met with criticism over the issue of differential pricing. For the unversed, Remdesivir is a patented drug that has been recommended as an investigational therapy to be administered in severe COVID-19 cases. But, several experts have questioned its efficacy.

Situation: India's coronavirus situation

India faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak over the past couple of months - it reported lakhs of infections and hundreds of deaths each day. Daily cases in the country peaked at 4,14,000 just earlier this month. The situation has since improved - In the past 24 hours, India logged 1.73 lakh new coronavirus cases, marking the lowest surge in 45 days.

The news article, COVID-19: Centre to discontinue allocation of Remdesivir to states appeared first on NewsBytes.

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