After the drug controller issued emergency-use authorization to multiple pharmaceutical businesses in India to produce and commercialize generic versions of molnupiravir, India will become the world’s largest hub for Covid-19 antiviral general medication production.
As Omicron infections develop in India, increased availability to molnupiravir will maintain hospitalizations and deaths to a manageable level.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Natco Pharma, Viatris, Hetero Drugs, and Mankind Pharma are among those who have received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed Molnupiravir, the first ever oral antiviral medication for the treatment of severe individuals with mild to severe HIV infection. Covid-19.
Following the approval, many major pharmaceutical companies are planning to supply molnupiravir capsules in the upcoming days, with the remaining companies following the process.
As a result, India will become the world’s largest producer of Covid-19 antiviral generic drugs. Molnupiravir’s performance in the move-out phase III trial was promising, with a 50 % reduction in hospitalization in early-stage infections.
In India, the Covid-19 second wave peaked in April and May 2021, with daily average cases exceeding 4 lakh. Since then, caseloads have decreased dramatically, with the national total holding at just under 10,000 cases per day over the rest of the year.
However, the Omicron version, which is poised to supersede Delta as the prevalent variation, has caused an increase in daily Covid-19 cases in recent days.
According to the Union Health ministry, Covid-19 cases totaled 1,41,986 on January 8, 2022, with 3,071 of these cases verified as the Omicron variety.
Furthermore, India continues to fall short of its Covid-19 vaccination rollout target, with only 44.5 percent of the population having received the vaccine. As a result, given the slow vaccination rate and recent spike in Covid-19 cases, generic versions of molnupiravir may be able to dramatically lower.
Generic molnupiravir would improve access in India as well as other low- and middle-income nations (LMICs) while also removing present supply chain barriers.
In the United States, a 5 day treatment duration with molnupiravir costs roughly USD 712. (Rs 52,909). For a five-day course, generic versions of the medicine will costing between USD 18.79 (about Rs 1,400) and USD 21.48 (around Rs 1,600), which is much less.
We estimate molnupiravir generic versions to greatly expand availability in India as well as other LMICs after government approval because to their low cost.
Furthermore, as compared to Covid-19 intravenous antivirals like casirivimab/imdevimab or remdesivir, these oral antiviral medications will result in lower transport and distribution costs.
Oral medications do not require the use of glass vials because they are firm and compact, and the tablets can be closely packed without risk of breaking.
Similarly, a higher quantity of the medicine can be maintained within a given region, allowing the drug to be distributed at a faster rate.