The Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd said on Wednesday that it has priced its generic remdesivir version at Rs 4,000 ($53,34) per 100 mg vial, making it among the cheapest variants of the COVID-19 medication available so far.
The price of Cipla was said to be no more than 5,000 rupees earlier. Sovereign Pharma, which manufactures and packages the Cipla drug, said the first lot was shipped on Tuesday.
In an email statement, Cipla India Chief Executive Officer and Executive vice president Nikhil Chopra said the firm was launching Cipremi commercially on Wednesday and expects to deliver more than 80,000 vials in the first month.
The company said this medicine would only be available throughout the government and hospitals.
Sources had told Reuters that the first batch of 10,000 vials, which was released by the European rival Mylan this week, had been printed at the price of 4,000 rupees.
Covifor, the version of Hetero Labs Ltd, costs Rs 5,400 rupees a vial while Desrem rates Mylan for Rs 4,800.
With the growing number of coronavirus infections, many more of India’s big medical companies making up a significant number of pharmaceuticals worldwide are expected to launch competing for remdesivir versions, the only major treatment approved to date for COVID-19.
The manufacturer of remdesivir, Gilead Science Inc., has priced the original formulation for wealthy nations at $390 per 100 mg bottle while signing licenses with generic manufacturers to broadly access the drug.
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