Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in coordination with the Department of Pharmaceuticals has made an interim allocation of Remdesivir for 19 States/UTs for the period up to 30th April 2021.
This is in line with various steps being taken by the Government of India to address the emerging issues for effective management of the recent spike in COVID19 cases across the nation.
The Centre is implementing pro-active measures while also regularly reviewing and monitoring them at the highest level.
The escalation of serious COVID19 patients in hospitals for effective clinical management has led to an increase in the demand for Remdesivir. Therefore, the manufacturing capacity of domestic Remdesivir manufacturers has been ramped up.
The Government is now extending support to manufacturers by increasing the production capacity from the current level of 38 lakh vials per month to 74 lakh vials per month, and 20 additional manufacturing sites have been approved. Export of Remdesivir was also prohibited on 11th April 2021 in order to ensure domestic supplies.
To further address reports of shortages in certain regions of the country and facilitate the smooth inter-state supply of Remdesivir, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in coordination with the Department of Pharmaceuticals has now allocated Remdesivir for 19 States/UTs for the period up to 30th April 2021.
Since this drug comes under investigational therapy, it is given in acute and severe versions of COVID-19 where oxygen support is a must. Thus, this allocation pertains to 14 States to which medical oxygen is allocated and 5 other states where the high volume of supplies are still being observed.
The allocation includes bulk purchases made by the States as well as supplies through private distribution channels. “This initial allocation is dynamic & will be reviewed constantly in consultation with States, to ensure all needs are met within available supplies”, the Health Ministry stated in a Press Release.
Moreover, States which are not yet covered in this allocation will be taken into consideration when their supply orders are placed with the manufacturers who have been directed to consider supply orders already made to them.
Remdesivir Manufacturers have been advised to manufacture & dispatch the supplies as per the agreed State allocation & mapping based on geographical proximity & terms of supply.
The Centre, though, may also ask them to balance supplies between the Government & distribution channel.
Further, the States have been asked to place their supply orders to manufacturers, if not already done, either by Govt. purchase or distribution channel, within the directed State-wise allocation & manufacturer-wise mapping enlisted by the Centre.
In order to ensure a smooth and fair supply of this drug, The States have been advised to appoint State Nodal officers for Remdesivir who will be responsible for unrestricted & timely movement of the drug within their States.
A Control Room set up by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has been constituted for monitoring the operations as per the allocations.
In addition to this, Liaison Officers of the Remdesivir manufacturers & officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Pharmaceuticals, NPPA & Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation CDSCO will be part of a Whatsapp group for the day to day monitoring & coordination of this supply chain.
The Centre has advised all States to promote the judicious use of the drug and take action against possible hoarding and black marketing of Remdesvir.