The 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) COVID-19 drug, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, will be available at a price of Rs 990 per sachet.
One sachet contains 2.34gm of drug in water soluble powder form and it is to be taken orally.
Dubbed as the affordable COVID-19 drug since the beginning of its trial, the steep pricing of the anti-viral drug has now attracted criticism.
The first batch of this oral drug, produced by Dr Reddy’s Labs was released on May 17 by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
During the price announcement on June 8, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said a statement, "The goal at Dr Reddy’s is to maximise production and make it accessible as much as possible to patients all over the country in as short a time frame as possible."
Dr Reddy's expects a significant ramp up in the second half of June and subsequently in July. The drug, however, would continue to be made available only on prescription and should be used only in a hospital setting.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for the emergency use of 2-DG drug as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.
DRDO has issued an expression of interest (EoI) seeking participation of more players from the pharma industry. According to the EoI document, it is proposed to offer transfer of technology (ToT) of 2-DG to Indian pharmaceutical firms for production.
DRDO had mentioned that ideally, 2-DG should be prescribed as early as possible by doctors for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients for the maximum duration of up to 10 days. It mentioned that 2-DG should not be given to pregnant and lactating women and patients below 18 years.