BENGALURU (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 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 https://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 https://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)