As many as 5 COVID-19 treatment drugs have either been given a go-ahead from the government to treat coronavirus infected patients in India or are in the final stages of the trial being carried out. Three of these 5 medicines have already been approved by the DGCI while two are in the final trial stages. Coronavirus cases in India are mounting by the day. Yesterday, India recorded the third-highest single-day coronavirus case tally in the world, only behind the USA and Brazil.
Let's see what we know about these drugs so far
Tocilizumab, also known as atlizumab, is an immunosuppressive drug, mainly for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a severe form of arthritis in children. It is a humanized monoclonal antibody against the interleukin-6 receptor. The drug is being tried on several high-risk COVID-19 patients in Mumbai. Tocilizumab is produced by Roche Pharma and marketed by Cipla.
Itolizumab is a ‘first in class’ humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody developed by Biocon. It selectively targets CD6, a pan T cell marker involved in co-stimulation, adhesion and maturation of T cells. Itolizumab is being used in both Delhi and Mumbai on a trial basis to treat severe COVID-19 patients.
Cipla has launched its own remedesivir under the name of Cipremi. The medicine is lyophilized powder for injection 100mg. The drug will be marketed by both the government and market channels. The drug has been approved for adult and paediartric patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 infection. The drug is most affective on those who need oxygen support. Cipla is yet to disclose the pricing for the drug.
Priced at Rs 3,500 for 34 tablets, the dosage is 200 mg X 9 tablets on day one and 200 mg X 4 tablets a day for 14 days. Global trials show the efficacy of over 80-88%; Japan, Bangladesh and UAE already use the drug for COVID-19 treatment. The drug will be available both through hospitals and the retail channel. Reportedly, Strides Pharma, Brinton Pharmaceuticals, Lasa Supergenerics and Optimus Pharma among firms readying its launch Glenmark had developed the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the formulation for FabiFlu through in-house R&D. Favipiravir is backed by strong clinical evidence, showing encouraging results in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19. Patients from over 10 leading government and private hospitals were enrolled for the study. It offers rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement.
The drug will be available in 100 mg injectable form which has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional. It is not a drug you can take at home. The company is sure about enough stock to cater to the present needs of the medicine. Hetero has confirmed that Covifor would cost between 5,000 to 6,000 per dose. The COVID-19 treatment by Covifor will cost not more than 30,000 per patient. Six dozes of the medicine will be given in this timeframe.