Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug, India is facing a second wave of covid-19 cases with 2,00,000 fresh cases every day. The increasing cases have increased pressure on the available medical resources in the country. Hospitals and states are facing a shortage of important vaccines and medicines like Remdesivir.
All the patients and their families are stuck with the shortage of an anti-viral injection for covid-19 patients called Remdesivir. The demand is increasing for the drug but there is a shortage in its supply. Keeping the situation in view, the central government of India has decided to ban its export for some time while emphasizing increasing its production to 78 lakh doses per month.
On the other hand, the prices of the anti-viral injection have ramped up and private companies like Cipla are selling it for Rs 3,400 to Rs 5,400. Zydus Cadila’s brand remdac is selling it at a low price of Rs.899. Still, the drug is out of stock in the market and is rarely available. Every hour there are hundreds of social media posts made by people in immediate search of this drug for their relatives and friends.
People have gotten into a misconception that Remdesivir is a life-saving drug and covid-19 patients at home are taking it even though it’s not required. To clear the myth, the Ministry of Health has released an official statement from its Twitter handle, “Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug in #covid-19. It is to be administered only in a hospital setting”.
Several instances of black marketing have also been reported. This injection is being sold for Rs.15000 to Rs.60000. Police have been arresting those involved in the case in Pune and other places.
Indian government allowed for the emergency use of Remdesivir on prescription. Although, the world health organisation (WHO) has said that there is no evidence for the use and effectiveness of Remdesivir for covid-19 patients. There is no scientific research on the impact of the antiviral drug and it is relevant for only a minority of cases.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria started, “It’s important to understand that Remdesivir isn’t a magic bullet and isn’t a drug that decreases mortality. We may use it as we don’t have an antiviral drug. It’s of no use if given early to asymptomatic individuals or ones with mild symptoms. Also of no use, if given late,”. He has made it clear that this drug is essential for only hospitalised patients with low oxygen levels.
The government is trying to reduce the prices of antiviral drugs. India reported a minor decline in fresh covid-19 cases with 259,170 new cases totalling the tally of active cases in the country to more than 2 million cases. On the other hand, the highest spike in the death toll has been reported to 1761 fatalities on 20th April. Because of rising cases, the state government of Delhi has announced a 6-day lockdown in the region till 26th April.