The pharmaceutical major Cipla Ltd has been directed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to improve the supply and demand of tocilizumab injection in Gujarat useful in treatment of COVID-19 patients. Cipla has also been asked to share three months supply plan for Gujarat and other states in the country by the NPPA.
Dr. HG Koshia, Gujarat FDCA Commissioner said that “The drug tocilizumab injection is primarily meant for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But it has shown promising results in COVID-19 treatment, based on its novel use at Gandhinagar Civil Hospital where two patients in the age group of 40 to 45 have successfully recovered on May 7, 2020 before even putting them on ventilator support. Available in dosage of 80 mg per vial, 200 mg per vial and 400 mg, the injection is very expensive. Gujarat government has maintained that human life is paramount and expense is not the concern area.”Tocilizumab’s 250 injection have been currently sourced out from the Cipla’s depot in Bangalore by a Gujarat stockist.
Till now, 40 injections kept for retail supply and 210 injections for government supply where the drug is given free of cost to the patients, Dr Koshia further informed.
In India, the drug is sold under the name and style of Actemra.
Tocilizumab is manufactured by Roche pharma and marketed by Mumbai-based Cipla is used on patients suffering from corona virus from extreme immune system response towards the infection, called cytokine storm, leading to multi organ failure and eventually death.