Favipiravir is one of the cheapest COVID-19 drugs available in the market with at least 45 companies selling it.

Indian pharma companies sold emergency use drugs to treat COVID-19 worth more than Rs 2,600 crore in the past one year. Favipiravir, which was dropped from the treatment guidelines earlier this year, cornered 50 percent of the total sales worth nearly Rs 1,300 crore.

CNBC-TV18’s Ekta Batra has interesting report on this:

The past 1-1.5 years have been the year of COVID-19 related drugs and treatments. If you were wondering what kind of sales did COVID-19 drugs such as Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Tocilizumab did then here are some of the interesting data.

Antiviral medication Favipiravir saw the highest sales in the past one year. It is one of the cheapest COVID-19 drugs available in the market with at least 45 companies selling it. AWACS data indicates that nearly Rs 12,139 crore worth of Favipiravir was sold in the past one year.

Pharma company Gilead’s drug Remdesivir, which was licenced to be manufactured, sold by seven companies in India alone generated sales of Rs 930 crore in a year. Meanwhile, the company sold nearly 270 odd crore of Ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug, which has been a big topic of debate in the treatment of COVID-19.

Sheetal Sapale, President-Marketing of AWACS, said, “Products like Remdesivir, and other products, which had really a role to play in COVID treatment may not continue to be blockbusters, because the companies have to find out additional indications to promote them. COVID times were opportunity times, which these companies leveraged and ensured that these products become a blockbuster.”

“But after wave two subsiding, and wave three way up, the threat of wave three also doesn’t seem to be that great. So these products will really have to work hard to find their way up going down the line. Right now, the demand for these drugs will definitely slip significantly in the next two or three months.”

Talking about opportunities for the companies manufacturing COVID drugs, Sapale said, “It depends upon how much the threat of Corona still remains over a period of time. So if the threat is not there, the demand will not be there to that extent.”

“The demand has come down significantly, in fact, if we see the entire degrowth of these high-end molecules like Favipiravir, Remdesivir demand has come down significantly as compared to what it was in the last few months. Also, with the number of cases subsiding, the demand is further going to go down.”

On Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ performance, she said, “I am not a spokesperson for Glenmark as such, but then I would say that Glenmark has done their marketing and distribution very well. The advantage that Glenmark definitely had the first-mover advantage, and they were the first ones to launch the product in the market. They ensured that the availability of the drug was very good across all the distributors and the doctors got hooked to this product right in the beginning. That is the reason why despite there being a number of brands in the market Glenmark stays to be a strong leader in the market.”

For full interview, watch accompanying video…

(Edited by : Bivekananda Biswas)

First Published:  IST

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