Indian demand for COVID-19 drug remdesivir rising sharply: Cipla

By Kumar Mitra Anuron

Cipla Ltd, a leader in the field of anti-viral drug remedies in India, said Monday that even if experts are dividing on its efficacy, demand for COVID-19 antiviral drug remedies is growing sharply in India.

U.S. medication company Gilead Sciences Inc. created Remdesivir. Last month, it lowered its revenue outlook for 2020, noting decreased demand and issues with the estimation of medication revenues.

Cipla belongs to several companies licensed in developing countries to produce and sell generic versions.

Cipla's Cipremi version was released on the market in July and costs just over $50 for the 100 mg container.

"After October onwards, (that's a firm),' Cipla's Global Chief Financial Officer Kedar Upadhye said in Reuters, 'there are no supply constraints now...

He said that by September the business distributed more than 300,000 drug glasses around the world.

Remdesivir is now the standard of care for patients with COVID-19 severe hospitalizations with approval from more than 50 countries, including the US.

But, last month in its global COVID 19 trial, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that remdesivir has not been significantly impacted by the duration or chance of survival of the patients' hospital stays.

The Cipla's Upadhye, adding that the company has also started exports of the drug to 'several countries' in the second quarter, without any details, said that "in India, the remdesivir protocols have not changed and the demand continues,"

Based in Mumbai, Cipla has supported South Africa with the pharmaceuticals since July and on Friday, for the quarter ended, Ciplá posted an increase of 41.2 per cent in consolidated net profit.

($1 = Indian rupees of 73,9625)

(Anuron Kumar Mitra 's paper in Bengaluru; Nivita Bhattacharjee and Pravin Char 's report)