The much-awaited medicine for Covid19 has finally arrived with Mumbai based pharma giant Glenmark Pharmaceuticals manufacturing the FabiFlu, the first oral favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19.
Announcing this here at an online media conference today, the Glenmark Pharmaceuticals President India Formulations, Middle East and Africa, Sujesh Vasudevan said the company had launched antiviral oral drug Favipiravir, under the brand name FabiFlu, for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at a price of about Rs 103 per tablet. The drug will be available as a 200 mg tablet at a maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 3,500 for a strip of 34 tablets, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said. FabiFlu is the first oral favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19.
Vasudevan further said the drug was produced by its internal research and development team which has proven in-vitro activity against SARS CoV2 virus responsible for COVID-19. “Second is it has a wide therapeutic safety margin for COVID-19 at the dose that we administer,” he said adding that his company will be able to produce FabiFlu for about 82,500 patients in the 1st month itself. They will then scale up the production and meet the healthcare needs of the country in phase-wise.
Doctors, however, caution people not to use the drug for self-medication as it is a prescription-based medication with a recommended dosage of 1,800 mg twice daily on day one, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14. “It may also vary from case to case, so please do not try to treat yourself, it will cause more harm”, says Dr Prasad Rao of Malkajgiri.
Vasudevan while stating that the drug will be available both through hospitals and the retail channel, said it had on Friday received the manufacturing and marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Favipiravir can be used for coronavirus patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, the company said. It offers a rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement. The company further said the drug is an oral product which means, hospitalisation may not be necessary so it will take away the burden on the hospitals and staff in view of the emergency situation prevailed in the country due to outbreak of Covid19.