Looking at the rising COVID-19 infections in Maharashtra, the state FDA authorities have asked remdesivir manufacturers to increase the supply of the medicine. It has also asked these companies to distribute 60 per cent of their total supply for Maharashtra to Mumbai and Thane.
Jugalkishor B Mantri, Joint Commissioner, State Controller Maharashtra and State Drug Controlling Authority informed, “Recently, in the meeting which was attended by the State FDA regulators and the representatives of Cipla and Hetero Healthcare along with their distributors, ensuring the supply of remdesivir injections in the market was discussed. Based on the discussion and assurance from both the companies, we realised that there will be enough supply of remdesivir injections in the State in the next few days’ time. However, considering the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the areas of Thane and Mumbai, the State FDA authorities have asked Cipla and Hetero to distribute 60 per cent of their Maharashtra’s stock between Thane and Mumbai. The rest of the stock will be distributed as per their scheduled plan. The companies have agreed to make the arrangements accordingly.”
This week, it is likely that Cipla and Hetero Healthcare will supply 9000 vials and 12500 vials of remdesivir, respectively, to Maharashtra.
Mantri said, “Both the companies are making efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of remdesivir injections in the market. On one hand, Cipla is in the process of increasing production capacity and also planning to commence production of the said medicines from its Goa plant. On the other hand, Hetero Healthcare is strengthening its distribution and supply chain network. It is likely that the company will launch six new distribution channels dedicated to remdesivir.”
He highlighted that there is a need to make a robust system which will help in reducing unethical marketing practices of essential medicines in the country. He also said that the medical community should prescribe these medicines based on the patients’ situation and without making a reservation for anyone.
Sachin Taparia, Founder and Chairman, LocalCircles too pointed out, “Taking learning from the pandemic situation and realising the requirement for such essential medicines in the country during the crisis situation, there is a dire need for a robust system which can monitor as well as ensure an uninterrupted, transparent supply chain for all essential medicines.”
He added, “To avoid any supply oriented issues, besides pharma companies, there is also a need to plug the gap between hospitals, hospital pharmacies and other distribution channels.”
He stated, “If such a monitoring system is put in place, then it will not only ensure access to medicines for those who need them the most but also work effectively in monitoring any kind of unethical marketing practices.”