The central government on Saturday announced that it has increased the production of the COVID drug Remdesivir tenfold and has decided to stop the centralised distribution of the medicine. The decision comes as the nation now makes more of the medicine than is consumed locally, the Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya, tweeted. He added that the states should now stockpile the medicine on their own.
Plants producing Remdesivir were increased from twenty to sixty, and there are now 350,000 vials of the drug being made daily. This was 33,000 last April, the minister clarified. 98.87 lakh vials were supplied to states and union territories, and an additional 22.17
lakh would be supplied between May 23 and 30. The central government would stockpile 50 lakh vials for future emergencies.
Companies had cut charges after the centre reduced both the customs tax on the drug and the tax on raw materials to fight the pandemic. Export has also been put on hold until the situation in the country improves. The ministry has directed the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Agency and the CDSCO to ensure the drug is available in supply.