This effectively means that there will be no stock left for the rest of the world in the coming months.
"We have decided to buy Remdesivir and Favipiravir as well as other essential drugs to treat COVID-19 patients in large numbers. The drugs are costly so the state has decided to buy them itself," he told reporters here.
The regulatory agency says it was granting a conditional marketing authorization for remdesivir to be used in treating adults and adolescents older than 12 with pneumonia who require oxygen.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) said its recommendation change stemmed from recent clinical data, updated cost estimates, public comments and interactions with Gilead.
Gilead Sciences says it also expects to supply remdesivir to treat more than two million COVID-19 patients by year-end.
Gilead Sciences has said it hopes to start trials in August of an easier-to-use inhaled version of remdesivir, currently administered only intravenously.
Dr Avi Kumar, Consultant, Pulmonologist, Fortis Escort Heart Institute, said drugs such as Favipiravir and Remdisiver "cannot be called game changers" as they are used as a supportive treatment.
By January, when reports about use of Gilead's experimental drug Remdesivir on COVID-19 patients in China have started to surface, Hetero plunged into action to develop Remdesivir.
Competitive prices also seem more likely as domestic pharmaceutical companies claim capability to produce the drug without active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) import from China
"We have been issuing remdesivir and tocilizumab drugs to treat COVID-19 patients on case-to-case basis with the help of ICMR. But now we need these medicines in large numbers and at reasonable price from the Centre for treatment of patients," Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
Amid delays in India, some patients have reportedly been importing the experimental antiviral drug from Bangladesh for personal use.
Hydroxychloroquine has demonstrated in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV2 and was shown to be clinically beneficial in several small single-centre studies though with significant limitations, it stated.
Four companies are still awaiting a nod from the DCGI for manufacturing and selling of remdesivir in India.
As per the non-exclusive licensing agreement, Gilead will grant Dr Reddy's Laboratories the right to register and manufacture its investigational Coronavirus drug remdesivir in 127 countries.
The much-touted anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine will continue to be used while azythromycin may be dropped from the treatment protocol, sources in the know of the developments told PTI.
Officials said that based on results of test reports and stability data, restricted emergency use approvals will then be given to Indian manufacturers on “rapid response basis”, as was given to Gilead Sciences.
Remdesivir is the first drug shown to be effective against the novel coronavirus in human trials, with South Korea, Japan, India and the United States having already approved the drug for emergency use.
Remdesivir has generated promising results in MERS-CoV and SARS, Maharashtra Health Minister said.
Gilead Sciences' experimental drug Remdesivir has been found to aid in the recovery of COVID-19 patients.
It is the only drug so far that has shown significant effect on patients infected with COVID-19.
The drug was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month and has received approval by Japanese health regulators.
Remdesivir is the only drug so far that has been shown to help patients with COVID-19, but Gilead and other companies are looking for ways to make it work better.
At Day 11, a higher proportion of patients in the 5-day treatment group achieved improvement in clinical status versus the standard of care group, Gilead said.
Raising concerns, Gilead has reportedly written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union Health Ministry and NITI Aayog, among others.
As COVID-19 continues its spread -- crossing 5.2 million cases and 3,38,000 fatalities on Saturday -- several categories of drugs are under clinical trial.