The Jharkhand government has reached out to some pharma companies in Bangladesh for importing the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which is used in the treatment of serious Covid patients, Chief Minister Hemant Soren tweeted on Sunday. He said the state government has sought the centre's permission for buying the drug from abroad.
"With the increasing demand Remedisivir for critical patients in Jharkhand and its unavailability, we have reached out to pharma companies in Bangladesh for buying around 50,000 vials for emergency use. I have written to (Union minister) DV Sadanand Gowda ji's permission to import ASAP (as soon as possible)," Mr Soren tweeted.
With the increasing demand for #Remedisivir for critical patients in Jharkhand & its unavailability, we have reached out to to Pharma companies in Bangladesh for buying around 50,000 vials for emergency use. I have written to @DVSadanandGowda'ji for permission to import ASAP. pic.twitter.com/23XlxCp6gi— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) April 18, 2021
Experts say Remdesivir has been found effective in cutting short the hospital stays of some serious Covid patients.
The drug has been in short supply in several states because of massive Covid caseloads brought on by the rapid second wave of infections.
As India has been reporting over 2 lakh daily Covid cases for the last few days, several states have reported shortages of hospital beds, medical oxygen and drugs, especially Remdesivir.
Earlier this month, the centre banned export of Remdesivir. In an order, the government said it had banned export of Remdesivir injection and Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the pandemic situation in the country stabilises.
Seven Indian companies are producing Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, US. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.
To ensure more people can get Remdesivir, the government said manufactures of Remdesivir had been asked to show on their website the details of their stockists and distributors.
Drug inspectors and other officers have been asked to verify stocks, check any malpractice and stop hoarding and black marketing.
The government has also decided to ramp up the production of the drug to plug the demand-supply gap.