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COVID-19 crisis | Remdesivir manufacturers may be allowed to sell only to government for now: Report

Gilead Sciences' experimental drug remdesivir has been found to aid recovery of COVID-19 patients.

June 01, 2020 / 10:55 AM IST
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Companies licensed to manufacture Remdesivir may have to sell it only to government institutions for now as the drug is still under trial, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has reportedly proposed that antiviral drug Remdesivir should be managed under a 'compassionate use' programme and not sold directly to private hospitals.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

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Gilead Sciences' experimental drug Remdesivir has been found to aid in the recovery of COVID-19 patients.

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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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In India, US-based Gilead has licensing agreements for Remdesivir with four pharmaceutical companies - Cipla, Hetero Drugs, Jubilant Life Sciences and Mylan.

Also read | BDR Pharmaceuticals seeks drug controller’s nod to manufacture generic version of Remdesivir, irks Gilead: Report

"Since most patients who are currently being treated for COVID-19 are in public hospitals and since the efficacy is still not known, this seems to be the thinking," an official told The Economic Times.

Gilead may apply to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for market authorisation of Remdesivir.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the anti-viral drug for emergency use in treating COVID-19 patients, while Japan has fast-tracked review of the medicine.

Follow LIVE updates on the COVID-19 pandemic here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 1, 2020 10:55 am

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