Scientists have been working tirelessly to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. There are multiple ongoing experiments to find a cure for the virus; researches are going on in various fields on how the spread of the virus can be prevented. Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals secured a patent for an antiviral drug ‘Favipiravir’ under the name ‘FabiFlu.’ The drug was approved by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and is said to help patients with mild to moderate symptoms suffering from Covid-19. One tablet’s price is set at Rs 103 and will be made available only as per prescription. The drug had already been passed in Japan in 2014, and since the breakout, many other countries have passed Favipiravir.
Countries like Turkey, Bangladesh, UAE, Jordan have passed the drug along with other countries evaluating and examining the drug action. China conducted a study with 340 patients and posted positive results from experiments in both Wuhan and Shenzhen. Almost 18 countries are conducting rapid tests and clinical trials using this drug to approve for public use. Other drugs like Ebola drug remdesivir and a combination of HIV drugs are also under examination for the treatment of coronavirus. Favipiravir was developed in Japan back in the 1990’s for flu epidemics, purchased by Fujifilm when they moved into the healthcare sector and patented by them in 2014.
A Japanese health official said that the drug isn’t effective for severe Covid-19 cases but can be used for patients with mild symptoms. Favipiravir was approved in Japan to treat recurring influenza infection. Favipiravir boasts of improving 88% of patient’s suffering from mild Covid-19 symptoms. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and the government are taking appropriate steps to provide this medicine all across the nation to help the patients. The recommended dose for Favipiravir is 1,800 mg twice on day one, followed by an 800mg dose twice daily for the next 14 days. Though it will be made available in both chemists and hospitals, it will be for restricted emergency use and only available with a doctor’s prescription. More companies will soon release their version of the Favipiravir, bringing the price lower in the foreseeable future.