M Kalaiarasan, a leading pharmaceutical distributor in Vellore said many hospitals and doctors had placed orders for the medicine when Remdesivir was widely considered to be effective for treating COVID cases. “We waited for nearly a month for this drug. But there are no takers now, as the ICMR said it was not needed in the treatment and also infection cases being on the wane,” he said.
Kalaiarasan had procured 450 vials at Rs 11.25 lakh, but has now requested the drug company to take it back. “The manufacturer expressed willingness to take back the drug, but my money would not be returned. Instead, it would be adjusted against the future purchases,” he said.
The fall in demand has also brought down its price to Rs 2,500 from Rs 10,000 for which it was being sold earlier.
However, government health officials said they were still using Remdesivir in mild cases of COVID.
This rise and fall in Remdesivir demand has prompted chemists to think twice before placing orders for Amphotericin B, the antibiotic used to combat mucormycosis. “Though manufacturers expressed willingness to supply, we are waiting for a couple of days to understand the situation on ground before placing the order because this fungal infection cases are also decreasing,” Kalaiarasan said.
Agreeing to this, Health department officials said mucormycosis cases were on the decline from what the situation was earlier.