New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a significant step amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the country, the central government on Sunday said that it has banned the export of Remdesivir and its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the "COVID-19 situation improves" in India.

In a statement, the central government said that the demand for Remdesivir injection will likely increase in India, adding that the Department of Pharmaceuticals has asked the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of the injection.

"India is witnessing a recent surge in COVID cases. As of April 11, there are 11.08 lakh active COVID cases and they are steadily increasing. This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID patients,: the government said in a release.

"All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/ distributors to facilitate access to the drug. Drugs inspectors and other officers directed to verify stocks and also take measures to curb hoarding and black marketing," it added.

Several states and union territories (UTs), including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, have claimed that there is a shortage of Remdesivir -- a key COVID-19 medicine especially for adult patients with severe complications -- amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases.

Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state in India, has also decided to set up district-level control rooms to ensure smooth supply of Remdesivir injections and prevent hoarding and black-marketing of the drug.

The state is facing multiple issues pertaining to the drug, like demand-supply gap, its hoarding and black marketing by stockists and pharmacy shops, unaffordable prices and irrational prescription by some doctors.

It 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.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma