All you need to know about the drugs that will help India fight COVID-19

As the Coronavirus infection is showing no signs of slowing down in India, homegrown pharmaceutical companies have permitted to launch generic versions of Remdesivir and Favipiravir. These anti-viral drugs have shown results in COVID-19 patients’ treatment.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched Favipravir under the brand name FabiFlu. This anti-viral drug is to be used for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. On the other hand, Cipla and Hetero Labs have received approvals from the Drug Controller General of India to launch the generic versions of Remedesivir under the brand names Cipremi and Covifor, respectively.

Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals will manufacture Fabiflu as the generic version of Favipiravir. This anti-viral drug has been approved in Japan for the treatment of Influenza.

The medication has been approved for emergency treatment in mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. Glenmark has claimed that it shows clinical improvements of up to 88 per cent in COVID-19, with a rapid reduction of viral load in just 4 days.

It is currently being tested in 18 clinical trials and results from two studies have shown a positive outcome.

The drug will be available as per a prescription-based medication for Rs 103 per tablet. The recommended dosage is 1800 mg twice on the first day, followed by 800 mg twice daily till day 14.

Covifor and Cipremi
Cipla and Hetero Labs launched two drugs as the generic version of Remedesivir. This drug was first developed in 2014 as the treatment option for Ebola. It inhibits viral replication in the body and is administered intravenously.

The US National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases had released preliminary trial results showing recovery time of COVID-19 patients given Remedesivir improved from 15 to 11 days.

Hetero said it would supply its version of Remedesivir at Rs 5,000 – Rs 6,000 per vial, which would make a 5-day treatment course cost not more than Rs 30,000.

Remedesivir has not been approved as a treatment option for COVID-19 yet but DCGI has given its approval for the treatment in emergency cases only.

This drug is not recommended for people with severe renal impairment and high level of liver enzymes, pregnant or lactating women, and patients below the age of 12 years.

The drug will be administrated in the form of injection and should be given at a dose of 200 mg on the first day and a dose of 100 mg for the next five days, the Union Health Ministry’s document on ‘Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19’ stated.

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