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India's Glenmark cuts price of COVID-19 drug favipiravir version to $1/tablet

BENGALURU, July 13 (Reuters) - Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd said on Monday it would lower the price of its generic version of favipiravir, FabiFlu, to 75 rupees ($0.9983) per tablet for restricted emergency use in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms in India.

Glenmark last month received Indian regulatory approval to make and sell anti-flu drug favipiravir, which is manufactured under the brand name Avigan by a unit of Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp.

Glenmark had priced bit.ly/3iW9ycW FabiFlu at 103 rupees per tablet earlier, making it one of the cheapest COVID-19 treatment available in the country.

"Glenmark's price reduction aims to make FabiFlu further accessible for COVID-19 patients across the country," the company said in a statement reut.rs/3iZSbrJ.

The price reduction comes at a time when coronavirus cases are continuing to surge across India. The country registered a record increase in infections on Sunday, and has over 870,000 cases as of Monday, with the death toll at 23,174, according to federal health ministry data bit.ly/2VPOFGm.

Social media users have also complained of a shortage of COVID-19 treatment in the nation.

A treatment course with FabiFlu would require a patient to take 122 tablets over 14 days, and will now cost 8,475 rupees ($112.80) per patient at the new price.

Meanwhile, Japanese researchers on Friday said a clinical trial of Fujifilm’s Avigan yielded inconclusive results as a treatment for COVID-19.

Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has entered into a deal with Fujifilm to sell Avigan globally excluding Japan, China and Russia.

Mumbai-based Glenmark has also commenced a post marketing surveillance study with FabiFlu to monitor its efficacy and safety in 1,000 patients that are prescribed with the oral antiviral, the company said.

$1 = 75.1300 Indian rupees Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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