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Myshopdeal News Glenmark Pharma Launches Drug FabiFlu For Covid 19.

Ipshita Ray

As cases are rising by the day to 16,000 in India and taking the lives of about 12,000 Glenmark has ignited a spark of hope. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals launched the antiviral drug Favipiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Shared that this antiviral drug Favipiravir will be produced under the brand name FabiFlu at a price of about Rs 103 per tablet. Although they said the drug's real efficacy would be known in the coming months. This comes as the most positive news in the midst of this pandemic.

FabiFlu is the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19, it said in a statement.

This drug was already being used in Japan for influenza. They have been using it in COVID-19 patients also. Even China was using it and Russia had also given permission in May to use it. Antiviral drugs like Remdesivir and Favipiravir are not specific to COVID-19 but were being used for influenza.

He said studies found that there was some benefit of Favipiravir in COVID-19 treatment and that is why it has now been launched in India as well.

As cases of COVID-19 are rising, the launching of the drug comes as a relief. The whole world has been trying their best to find out an antivirus or a drug to cure this virus. 

Although medical experts on Saturday cautioned against seeing it as a "magic bullet" to treat the deadly virus but said it will be helpful as it can be orally administered and reduce viral load.

It is not a magic bullet as it is not the only thing the doctors have to give. This is not a specific drug made for COVID-19 and has been found to be useful, but how much it will be useful we will have to see. Real efficacy will be known when administered on a large scale.

The best thing about this medicine is that it is an oral drug, while Ramdesiver is an intravenous drug. This medicine can be even taken at home. So even if it is giving some benefit, it will be quite useful.

Although noted city-based lung surgeon Dr Arvind Kumar said he does not believe that any of these antiviral drugs like Remdisiver or Favipiravir will be game-changers.

 He thinks Dexamethasone has shown a significant reduction in mortality and is available cheaply.

There are so many medications available and Favipiravir will also help some patients, added Dr Kumar, who works at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The Favipiravir drug will be available as a 200 mg tablet at a maximum retail price of Rs 3,500 for a strip of 34 tablets, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals shared.

It is a prescription-based medication with recommended dose being 1,800 mg twice daily on day one, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14, it added.

The tablets are being produced by the company at its Baddi facility in Himachal Pradesh. The drug will be available both through hospitals and the retail channel, Glenmark said.

The Mumbai-based firm had on Friday received the manufacturing and marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

This will be a tremendous pressure on pharma companies to produce this in large numbers as cases are rising and they need to be rolled out sooner.

The company hopes that the availability of an effective treatment such as FabiFlu will considerably help assuage this pressure, and offer patients in India a much-needed option of timely therapy, he added.

The approval's restricted use entails responsible medication usage where every patient must have signed informed consent before treatment initiation, Glenmark said. This will not be available off the counter as this can give rise to misuse.

Favipiravir can be used for coronavirus patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, Glenmark added.

It offers a rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement.

Favipiravir has shown clinical improvement of up to 88 per cent in mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, it said.

Considering the emergency and unmet medical need for COVID-19, the DCGI under the fast-tracked approval process granted domestic firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals the permission to manufacture and market Favipiravir (200 mg) tablet.

Glenmark pharmaceuticals were the first company in India to initiate phase three clinical trials on Favipiravir for COVID-19 patients in India.

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