Favipiravir is now manufactured by 4 companies in India

After Glenmark and Cipla, two more Indian pharma companies — Sun Pharmaceuticals and Zenara Pharma have got approval to manufacture Favipiravir in the country to treat coronavirus.

Favipiravir was originally developed to treat novel influenza in Japan and was sold by different manufacturers under the name Avigan, Abigan and Fabiflu.

Sun Pharma on Aug 4th announced the launch of Favipiravir, under brand name FluGuard, at ₹35 per tablet for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 in India. The stocks of FluGuard will be available in the market from this week.

“We are launching FluGuard at an economical price to make the drug accessible to more and more patients, thereby reducing their financial burden. This is in line with our continuous efforts to support India’s pandemic response,”

Sun Phrama

Several other companies have launched the generic versions of Favipiravir so far in India.

Hyderabad-based Zenara Pharma on August 5 announced that it has got approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and sell Favipiravir tablets as a treatment option for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19.

The tablet, which will be sold under the brand name ‘Favizen’, is being manufactured at Zenara’s US FDA approved state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad.

Zenara Pharma, a fully-owned subsidiary of Biophore India Pharmaceuticals, is in talks with multiple state institutions and several hospitals in India to ensure that Favizen is readily available for the patients in need.

Favipiravir has demonstrated positive clinical outcomes in some trials and has already been approved for use to treat Covid-19 in Russia and parts of the Middle East.

Advance stage trials are currently underway in several countries, including India. However, the drug comes with side-effects such as possible birth defects and liver damage. At a press meet in June, Glenmark said that the drug can be used for COVID-19 patients with comorbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, but added that it is not to be administered to those with severe kidney and liver impairment, or pregnant and lactating women.

The drug should also be used with caution in patients with a history of abnormalities in the metabolism of uric acid or having gout, it added.

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