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India’s cheapest remdesivir version launched by Zydus Cadila at Rs 2,800 per vial

BENGALURU: Zydus Cadila on Thursday launched the cheapest generic version of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir in India to treat COVID-19 following reports of shortages at hospitals in the world’s third-worst hit nation.

Zydus has priced it at 2,800 rupees ($37.44) per 100mg vial. It will be sold under the brand name Remdac to government and private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Officials in some Indian states had a few weeks ago complained of supply issues, but a top executive at drugmaker Cipla Ltd had earlier this week said the supplies were stabilizing.

Zydus is the fifth company to launch a copy of the antiviral in India after privately held Hetero Labs Ltd, Cipla, Mylan NV and Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.

Gilead has also entered into licensing agreements with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and Syngene International Ltd to make remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries, including India.

India has reported a daily jump of more than 50,000 coronavirus infections for two weeks, with total cases as of Wednesday at 2.33 million.