WITH ever-increasing cases of COVID-19, the situation is becoming worse in India. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ Fabiflu, the branded version of Favipiravir and Covifor, and the new version of Remdesivir. Doctors have claimed that these drugs could be used for treating early stages of COVID-19 infection.
Glenmark has been given nod for experimental purpose. Favipiravir is an oral tablet used for patients with comorbid conditions like diabetes, heart disease and other mild to moderate symptoms. The price of the generic version of the tablet is Rs 103 per tablet, with the recommended dose of 1800 mg on day one, followed by 800 mg twice for the next 14 days. Soon it will be available in the retail market for the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19. The drug had been used successfully in countries like China, Russia and Japan. The company claims that patients with less infection will improve faster. It is less expensive than Remdesivir, and clinically successful in treating more than 80 percent of the patients. This drug can be used for emergency purposes.
However, many doctors suggest that the drug lacks robust evidence, and should undergo additional trials as it lacks the efficacy. It can be used for emergency purposes only. Since in many cases a normal person can be cured automatically in self-quarantine, many have raised questions about its 14-day trial. As of now, it is very difficult to give a nod for the manufacturing of this drug.
The search for an ideal vaccine against COVID-19 is still incomplete. Some vaccines are in the final phase of the trial and need to be carefully examined. Post-market surveillance reports must be followed until we reach a final conclusion.
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