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Millions Of Vials Of Remdesivir Exported, Now Indians Suffering Due To Shortage: Delhi HC Raps Centre

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug which was originally developed to treat Hepatitis C, is being used in many parts of India to treat Covid-19 patients.

Millions Of Vials Of Remdesivir Exported, Now Indians Suffering Due To Shortage: Delhi HC Raps Centre
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Taking cognizance of the shortage of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug used in the treatment of Covid-19, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that the export of millions of vials of the drug has caused a scarcity of the same in the country. 

Remdesivir, which was originally developed to treat Hepatitis C, is being used in many parts of India to treat Covid-19 patients.

When the second wave of the pandemic started ravaging the country in early April, many states reported a shortage of the drug post which, the Centre completely banned export of Remdesivir.

At the moment, seven Indian companies are producing Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity to produce about 38.80 lakh units of the drug per month.

Highlighting the fact that the drug is being manufactured in large numbers in India, Justice Prathiba M Singh said several companies in India are manufacturing the medicine and millions of vials of the drug must have been exported, "but we do not have enough to cater to our own patients".

"Statistics show that shortage of the drug in Delhi is acute," the court said and asked the Centre, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) whether there has been any change in the guidelines with regard to administering Remdesivir.

The court also asked the Centre on what basis it was deciding how much of the drug was to be allocated to the Delhi government and whether anyone can directly approach the manufactures or suppliers for buying the medicine.

The directions came on a plea by a lawyer who is suffering from Covid-19 and was able to get only three out of the six doses of Remdesivir required by him.

The court directed the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal, to ensure the petitioner gets the remaining three vials of the medicine by 9 pm tonight.

With the direction, the court listed the matter for hearing on April 28.

(With PTI inputs)

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