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Is Favipiravir going to be the key to unlock India from the chains of Covid-19



After a lot of painstaking research done on an urgent basis, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals launched antiviral drug Favipiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases after a lot of clinical trials and DCGI approval. The drug is available at a price of about Rs 103 per tablet of 200 mg tablet at a maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 3,500 for a strip of 34 tablets.

Speaking on the launch of the drug, noted city-based General Surgeon Dr. Sunil Agarwal said “This drug comes as a relief as the numbers of COVID 19 patients are increasing day by day. So even if it is giving benefit to some of the people, it will be quite useful in controlling the Pandemic and save many precious lives”.

The Pandemic of Covid-19 which was born in China has spread to the world and has caused massive havoc by causing close to 1 crore cases and 5 Lakh deaths worldwide with immense strain on the medical infrastructure and untold misery and economic loss to all countries in the entire world. The challenge, in this case, was the speed with which the virus spread and infected different people in different ways with different symptoms.

“All drugs work differently on different people therefore there are so many medications available and Favipiravir is one of the most promising drugs in the cure of Covid-19 and will definitely help many patients”, added Dr. Agarwal, who is one of the founders of Sanjeevani Hospital.

Although Antiviral drugs like Remdesivir and Favipiravir are not specific to COVID-19, they are being used for influenza by Japan, China, and even Russia.

Nephrologist Dr. Umesh Khanna said “People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis are at a higher risk to this virus, as their immune system is weak and the risk of acquiring the virus in the hospital is added to the risk during travel to the hospital. And to add to that Lockdown and loss of livelihoods have severely restricted the ability of patients with kidney disease to access regular care and medication. Patients with end-stage kidney disease have been particularly affected: lack of availability of transport is impeding the ability to access regular dialysis. Vital supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and patients and dialysis consumables, have become threatened due to interruptions in the free movement and challenges in an acquisition. In some instances, restrictions have also contributed to the shortages. Favipiravir is not recommended for moderately severe kidney failure patients, I hope a drug formulation gets approval soon to benefit them”.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals FabiFlu is the first oral favipiravir approved prescription-based medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19. It is with the recommended dose being 1,800 mg twice daily on day one, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14. Favipiravir can be used for coronavirus patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms

Currently, the drug is being manufactured at the company’s formulation facility in Hyderabad. The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is being made in the firm’s Visakhapatnam facility.