India is expected to import almost 4,50,000 vials of antiviral drug Remdesivir from US and Egyptian pharmaceutical companies, out of which 75,000 vials are assumed to reach the country on Friday, stated the Centre.
“It is expected that Gilead Sciences Inc. USA will dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,00 vials in the next one or two days. Further, one hundred thousand quantities will also be supplied before or by May 15. Egyptian Pharma Company EVA pharma will supply approximately 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July,” the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said.
This statement came up on the day when India recorded another 386,452 new infections in the past 24 hours. On this day, about 3498 fatalities pushed the country’s tally to more than 18.7 million and the death toll to 208,330 since the pandemic began. People worried are flooding social media and messaging apps with heartbreaking pleas for oxygen, medicines and room in intense care units as they have been fighting to find hospital beds.
The production volume of the seven licensed domestic manufacturers enhanced from 38 lakh vials per month to 1.03 crore vials per month. Total 13.73 lakh vials have been provided all across the country by the Drug companies in the last seven days (21-28 April 2021). Even an advisory was published by MHA to states and UTs to facilitate smooth movement of Remdesivir supplies.
In order to facilitate higher production and availability of Remdesivir, the Department of Revenue on April 20 released the customs duty on Remdesivir injection, its API and Beta cyclodextrin used in the production of Remdesivir, till October 31.