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Coronavirus pandemic | Maharashtra govt procures 60,000 vials of Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients

The Directorate of Medical Education and Research placed the order for Remdesivir at Rs 3,392.48 per vial, while Tocilizumab was acquired at Rs 30,870 per vial, and Favipiravir at Rs 1999.20 per strip.

July 20, 2020 / 07:26 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image


Amid reports that COVID-19 drug Remdesivir is being black-marketed at almost four times its retail price, the Maharashtra government has placed an order for 60,000 vials of the medicine. The government has also placed an order for six lakh tablets of Favipiravir and 20,000 vials of Tocilizumab.

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The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) placed the order for the Remdesivir vials at Rs 3,392.48 per vial, while Tocilizumab was acquired at Rs 30,870 per vial, and Favipiravir at Rs 1999.20 per strip. According to an India Today report, the total drug order will cost the Maharashtra government Rs 20 crore, and the drugs could be procured at the same rate throughout the year.



Exclusive: COVID-19 drug Remdesivir in short supply, prices go up by 6x in black market


Maharashtra, which continues to be the worst-hit by the coronavirus outbreak, has reported over three lakh COVID-19 cases and several complaints have been coming in about a shortage of these life-saving drugs in the state.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Govt asks Remdesivir manufacturers to increase production as complaints of black marketing rise



 To regulate the demand for the drug and stop black marketing, the Food and Drug Administration had made it mandatory for COVID-19 patients to produce their Aadhaar card and a prescription if they wish to purchase Remdesivir.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 19, 2020 05:49 pm

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