India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched its antiviral drug Favipiravir, FabiFlu, for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The price is set at $1.35 (Rs 103) per tablet. The company received manufacturing and marketing approval from India's drug regulator. This makes FabiFlu the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India.

Favipiravir shows strong clinical evidence for encouraging results in patients with mild to moderate coronavirus disease.

Tablets and Pills- Representational Picture
Representational Picture Piqsels

Not a New Drug

However, this is not a new drug. It is already being used in Japan and China for COVID-19 treatment and was earlier used for treating influenza.

SARS-CoV-2
SARS-CoV-2 Pixabay

The antiviral covers a broad spectrum of RNA viruses. Clinical improvement was observed among age groups from 20 to more than 90 years. Favipiravir can also be used in coronavirus patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease having mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. It offers rapid reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement.

This drug has shown improvement of up to 88 percent in mild to moderate cases of coronavirus, according to the statement.

More on The Tablet

It will be available as a 200 mg tablet in a strip of 34 tablets. "Considering a minimum of two strips per patient, Glenmark will be able to provide FabiFlu for about 82,500 patients in the 1st month itself," the company said. It is closely monitoring the changing situation and meet healthcare needs, it added.

Its availability is ensured in both hospitals and retail stores. Approval with restricted use entails responsible medication usage and every patient must sign a consent form before treatment starts.

India saw a record spike on Saturday with 14,516 new COVID-19 in a single day. There are more than 3,95,000 confirmed cases in the country, with more than 12,948 deaths. Globally there are more than 8.75 million cases confirmed so far, with India ranked No.4. Global death tol has surpassed 463,000.