Remdesivir price curbing initiates in India make COVID-19 treatment more affordable, says GlobalData

Following the news that the Indian state of Maharashtra has fixed the price of remdesivir;

Prashant Khadayate, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Maharashtra is the worst affected state of the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The state has reported more than 1.55 million confirmed cases and 41,196 deaths as of 16 October 2020, the highest in the country. Against this backdrop, Maharashtra has become the first state in India to fix the price of remdesivir at INR2,360 (US$32.17), which is 16% more economical than the cheapest brand Remdac at INR2,800 (US$38.19) by Zydus Cadila in the Indian market and 56% more economical compared to the highest-priced brand Covifor at INR5,400 (US$73.64) by Hetero Labs.

“In August 2020, GlobalData suggested that remdesivir price regulation is required to safeguard patients’ interest in India and remdesivir prices should be made as affordable as possible, in the best interest of patients and healthcare providers.

“According to GlobalData’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of 16 October 2020, India has 7,370,468 confirmed cases and the dashboard forecasts 27,491,568 confirmed cases in a low transmission risk scenario by 28 October 2020.

“The move to fix price is unique as drugs’ price deemed crucial for the treatment mainly falls in the purview of the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), which is controlled by the central government. Since the Maharashtra government has passed this order, DPCO did not play any role in curbing remdesivir’s prices. However, DPCO should follow and recommend price cuts across all the states.

“The decision by Maharashtra should be appreciated as COVID-19 is going to remain a public health problem for a very long time. Moreover, as experts already cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic may last until the end of 2021, such price fixation decisions should be taken by the Indian government as well.”

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