Local Covid drug makers ramp up capacity

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Mumbai: Indian generic drug makers are ramping up manufacturing capacity to export newly proven Covid-19 therapies to emerging markets, as demand for such medicines soars with rising infections.

This follows companies successfully developing the formulations Favipiravir and Remdesivir, the drugs, which along with dexamethasone have been included in the Covid-19 clinical management protocol in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Gulf Cooperation Council region.

On Sunday, Vamsi Krishna, MD of Hetero Pharma, one of the licensees of the experimental drug Remdesivir, told ET that the company has started exports to some of the 90 countries where it has licence to sell.

“We had received a request for this drug for some countries for a few VIP patients,” Krishna had told ET.

Hyderabad-based Optimus Pharma is targeting 10 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe to supply Favipiravir, the antiviral drug sold under the brand name Avigan by Fujifilm.

Optimus, which has already started exports to the UAE, can manufacture 5 billion tablets. Favipiravir is one of the drugs recommended in Thailand, Indonesia and the UAE for mild symptoms of Covid-19.

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