The Centre on Sunday banned the export of Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the COVID-19 situation improves in the country, reported news agency ANI.
In order to facilitate access to the drug, the government has advised all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir to display details of their stockists/distributors on their website.
Moreover, drugs inspectors and other officers are directed to verify the stocks and also take measures to curb hoarding and black marketing of Remdesivir.
"There is a potential of a further increase in demand for Remdesivir injection in the coming days. Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir," the government said.
For the uninitiated, Remdesivir is considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications.
Meanwhile, the Centre's decision to prohibit the export of Remdesivir comes in the wake of reports of its shortage and hoarding. There have been reports of Remdesivir shortage in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The Maharashtra government, meanwhile, has decided to set up district-level control rooms to ensure a smooth supply of Remdesivir injections and prevent hoarding and black marketing of the drug, officials said on Sunday.
The state is facing multiple issues pertaining to the drug, like the demand-supply gap, its hoarding and black marketing by stockists and pharmacy shops, unaffordable prices and irrational prescription by some doctors.
The government has asked authorities to cap the price of Remdesivir between Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400 per vial and urged about a dozen pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the drug to ramp-up its production and lower its MRP (maximum retail price).
It has also asked the health services commissioner to put in place a separate mechanism to streamline the supply of Remdesivir, in the wake of a rise in its demand due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.