Saturday, June 19, 2021

For affordable medication of COVID-19 patients, Govt waives off import duty on Remdesivir, its raw materials

Aimed at facilitating the enhanced imports of Remdesivir – the anti-viral medication whose demand has shot up in the country, the Indian government has waived import duty on Remdesivir, its raw materials and the drug’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

The move would bolster domestic availability and reduce cost of the injection, which is used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

“Considering the immediate requirement on the recommendation of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, the Department of Revenue has waived customs duty on Remdesivir and its API/KSM. This step will further augment domestic availability of Remdesivir injection,” Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Sadananda Gowda informed in a tweet today.

Apropos the statement released by the Union Ministry of Finance,” the central government has also exempted import duties on “Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir, Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and Remdesivir injection. The import waiver would remain in force till October 31, 2021.”

The announcement has come days after the union government approved the stepping up of domestic manufacture of Remdesivir.

On April 14, Union Minister of State Mansukh Mandaviya said, “In the meetings held with all the existing manufacturers of the Remdesivir drug, a decision was taken to ramp up production and reduce prices of Remdesivir.”

A statement of Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers mentioned,” The current total installed capacity of the seven manufacturers of Remdesivir is 38.80 lakh vials per month. Fast-track approval has been given for seven additional sites having the production capacity of 10 lakh vials per month to six manufacturers.”

“Another 30 lakh vials per month production is lined up. This would ramp up the capacity for manufacturing to around 78 lakh vials per month,” the statement further added.

According to Pharmaceuticals’ Secretary, Ms S Aparna,” The Remdesivir has been approved as an investigational therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 patients who are suffering from oxygen difficulty. She said, the government has undertaken an exercise for distribution of Remdesivir injection to States based on objective criteria.”

With reference to the clinical guidance, Remdesivir should be used in cases where oxygen is also required, the allocation is based on the oxygen allocation carried out by the Empowered Group-2 to various states. All states and Union Territories have been asked to ensure judicious use of Remdesivir and facilitating the smooth inter-state supplies of medicines, Ms Aparna further informed.

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