New Delhi: Several manufacturers of Remdesivir, that is being used in treatment of COVID-19, said they have ramped up production of the drug to meet its rising demand across the country.

In view of increased demand for the medicine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday prohibited the export of Remdesivir injection and its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the situation in the country improves.

A Zydus Cadila spokesperson said, “The current spike in COVID-19 cases has led to a higher demand of Remdesivir. We are currently producing Remdesivir at three of our facilities. To cater to the demand we have ramped up our production from the earlier 5-6 lakh vials a month to 10-12 lakh vials a month, which we will scale towards 20 lakh vials a month.

In a few weeks the supply situation will be a far more stable one, the company said.

In similar vein, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said it is making every effort to ensure that its Remdesivir reaches as many patients in India, as possible.

“We are ramping up production and are also bringing to market a liquid product that is faster to make and supply. We have also reduced our MRP by 50 per cent so that price is not a barrier to access, and a much larger number of patients can access it,” Dr Reddy’s said in a statement.

The company expects market situation on supplies to ease in the next few weeks, it added.

“We will continue in our endeavour to make medicines available wherever they are required, and whenever they are required,” Dr Reddy’s said.

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Rakesh Bamzai, President – India, Emerging Asia and Access Markets and Commercial Expansion and Biosimilars -Emerging Markets, Viatris (formerly called Mylan), said: “We are closely partnering with the government to meet the patient needs in India and ensure access to this critical medicine.

Drug firm Sun Pharmaceutical Industries said it, in collaboration with Syngene, is increasing capacity for Remdesivir to fulfil the increase in demand.

“Sun Pharma has already increased the production and is now manufacturing Remdesivir at two plants. The decision to add one more manufacturing site was taken recently to help boost our production. We are continuously monitoring the situation and working relentlessly to ensure patients across India get access to COVID-19 medicines,” a Sun Pharma spokesperson said.

The company is manufacturing and distributing Remdesivir in India in partnership with Syngene, the spokesperson added.

Pharma firm Cipla has also said that it has significantly increased the production of Remdesivir from the last wave of the pandemic.

“We have scaled up the production of Remdesivir by 2x from the last wave of the pandemic. Given the unprecedented demand for the drug, we have now further ramped up our capacities through our network, to service the demand,” Cipla has said.

There are seven manufacturers of Remdesivir in the country.

“They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said on Sunday.

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The Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of the drug, it added.

The centre on Tuesday said doctors should ensure “rational and judicious” use of antiviral drug Remdesivir, underlining it is to be given only to serious COVID-19 patients in hospitals and is not to be used in home settings.

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