Considering the emergency situation of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, and the desperate research into ways to cure it, India may have finally found the elixir. Although there is no vaccine or immediate cure yet, there is one being made in India. The Mumbai-based firm, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched antiviral drug Favipiravir, under the brand name FabiFlu. FabiFlu is the first oral favipiravir-approved medication in India to fight the virus. It has been approved for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms.
Favipiravir is originally a generic version of Avigan of Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, Japan, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation. Glenmark becomes the first Indian company to commercially produce an antiviral drug for the treatment of coronavirus. It has received the manufacturing and marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the Indian drug regulator.
The drug will be available as a 200 mg tablet that costs Rs 3500 for 34 tablets. It will cost Rs 103 per tablet. A prescription-based medication, it recommends a dosage of 1,800 mg twice daily on day one, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to 14 days. It shows a prompt reduction in viral load in 2-4 days, providing rapid symptomatic and radiological improvement.
The drug will be available in the hospitals as well as the retail channel. The firm added that they will be able to provide FabiFlu for about 82,500 patients in the initial month itself. Glenmark becomes the first company in India to attain the drug regulator’s permission to conduct a phase-3 clinical trial of Favipiravir antiviral tablets for Covid-19 patients.
The company is producing the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for the product at its Ankleshwar plant, while the formulation is being manufactured at the Baddi plant. The firm believes that the possibility of an effective treatment such as FabiFlu will help tackle the pressure by offering patients in India a much-needed relief.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Chairman and Managing Director, Glenn Saldanha said that they are working closely with the government and the medical community for FabiFlu to be quickly accessible to patients across the country.
Dr Rommel Tickoo, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, said the drug could be a “potential game-changer” amidst the COVID pandemic. According to Union Health Ministry data, India on Saturday saw another record spike of 14,516 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. It has pushed the tally to 3,95,048, with the death toll rising to 12,948 and 375 new fatalities.