Drug major Natco Pharma on Monday said it has received emergency use approval for Baricitinib tablets, for the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients, from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India.
The tablet in combination with Remdesivir is used for the treatment of COVID. The company is also requesting a compulsory licence in light of the public health emergency, said Rajeev Nannapaneni, VC & CEO, in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
“The innovator sells tablet at Rs 3,000 a tablet and one requires 14 tablets for COVID treatment and the cost of that would be Rs 40,000-50,000. So as a demand launcher we are proposing Rs 30 a tablet, which makes it affordable. At this time the product is in shortage because upsurge of COVID cases. Therefore, we are asking for a compulsory license,” said Nannapaneni.
On Molnupiravir, he said, “There are two parts to this application. The first part of the application is to get the phase-3 trial going. We have filed for the application. The second part is, why phase-3 is still ongoing that we launch on an emergency basis and it’s slightly unprecedented because this product is not approved anywhere in the world. Merck is expecting to file this product later in the year.”
Molnupiravir is an experimental antiviral drug that is orally active and was developed for the treatment of influenza. It completely suppresses the virus transmission within 24 hours.
“I think we should approve this product ahead of time on a critical trial mode because this, in my view, is a game-changer because we are going to start dosing patients as soon as they are COVID positive. There is a good chance that they won’t proceed for hospitalisation and put stress on the system,” he said.
For the entire management interview, watch the video