COVID-19: Indian govt. waives import duty on antiviral drug



 India’s federal government Wednesday announced that it had waived the import duty Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, to provide affordable medical care for the COVID-19 patients, officials said.
The step aimed increasing the supply of the drug thereby reducing the cost which would benefit the patients.


A notification issued federal finance ministry said import duty removed from Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients, injection and specific substances used in the manufacture of Remdesivir.
“Considering the immediate requirement the recommendation of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, the Department of has waived customs duty Remdesivir and its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API)/Key Starting (KSM).

“This step will further augment domestic availability of Remdesivir injection,” Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers D. V. Sadanand Gowda, said.
The order will remain in force until Oct. 31.
Officials say Remdesivir has been approved as an investigational therapy for the COVID-19 patients who are on oxygen having moderate and severe symptoms.
The Indian federal government has asked all states to ensure judicious use of Remdesivir, stop the black marketing or hoarding of drugs and facilitate the smooth inter-state supplies of medicines.


India’s federal health ministry said rampant and irrational abuse of Remdesivir not for home use but to be administered only to critical patients in hospital setting.
“Remdesivir is required for those individuals who require hospitalisation and are on oxygen support.
“It should not be procured from local channels,” V. K. Paul, a member of Indian government’s top policy think tank Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission) said.
India is witnessing resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the government is struggling hard to contain the spread.

The health ministry earlier said 295,041 new COVID-19 cases and 2,023 related deaths were registered in the past 24 hours across the country.


So far this is the highest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
Apart from the rapid spread of the , India is also struggling with an acute shortage in supplies of oxygen, availability of hospital beds and essential drugs.
states have even flagged the federal government about the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine stocks. (Xinhua/)