Hyderabad: Even as it has filed for a compulsory licence (CL) for Covid drug Baricitinib in India, Natco Pharma has already begun rolling out its generic version of the rheumatoid arthritis drug under the Barinat brand.
Natco launched its 4mg tablets at Rs 30 a piece on Thursday and stocks of the drug are already in the market, sources with know of the matter told TOI. The 4mg dosage tablet accounts for nearly 95% of the market for this drug for Covid treatment, they added. Barinat is priced at less than 1% or nearly one-hundredth the price of the innovator drug Olumiant, which is pegged at around Rs 3,230 per tablet.
According to analysts, by going ahead with a drug rollout without waiting for the CL, Natco runs the risk of being sued for infringement by the patent holder. While the patent for Olumiant is held by Incyte Holdings, the drug is marketed by giant Eli Lilly.
But Eli Lilly, which also got restricted emergency use approval for Baricitinib 2mg and 4mg from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on Monday, said it is “working with local Indian pharma companies to execute royalty-free voluntary licensing agreements to accelerate manufacturing and distribution of the medicine in India during the pandemic”.