Eli Lilly Donates 400,000 Tablets Of Covid-19 Drug To India, Plans To Scale Up Local Production
Eli Lilly on Tuesday said it will donate 400,000 tablets of its arthritis drug baricitinib—which has been shown to be effective in treating severe Covid-19 patients—to the Indian government as the country continues to fight a raging second wave of the pandemic that has overwhelmed many of its hospitals.
Eli Lilly will send 400,000 of its of its arthritis drug baricitinib to India after it was given ... [+] emergency approval for use in severe Covid-19 patients.
The drugmaker has also entered royalty-free licensing agreements with Indian pharmaceutical companies to accelerate local manufacturing and distribution of the drug during the pandemic.
Besides the initial donation, the company is working “urgently” to ensure a “multifold” increase in the quantity of the donated product in the coming weeks.
Lilly’s donation comes a day after Indias drug regulator gave emergency approval to the use of baricitinib in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are on supplemental oxygen, a ventilator or an ECMO life support machine.
Studies have shown that baricitinib, when used in combination with Gilead’s antiviral drug Remdesivir, may improve outcomes for patients with severe Covid-19.
Last week, drugmaker Gilead announced it will donate 450,000 vials of Remdesivir to India. The company also said it is providing its licensing partners in India with technical assistance, support for the addition of new local manufacturing facilities and the donation of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to rapidly scale up local production of Remdesivir.
On Tuesday, India reported 357,229 new Covid-19 cases along with 3,449 deaths. While the numbers are lower than last week’s peak of 400,000 cases, the country’s seven-day average still remains very high at around 380,000 new cases per day. The continued high number of cases has pushed the country’s healthcare system past its limit with several hospitals across the country reporting bed and oxygen shortages. Several countries and private entities around the world have stepped up to provide support to India. Last week the White House announced it will send supplies worth more than $100 million to India to help it fight the pandemic. Supplies from the U.S included oxygen cylinders, PPE kits, Covid-19 tests and vaccine raw materials. The U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Australia and several other nations have also stepped up to help India, by sending over essential medical equipment, essential drugs and oxygen supplies.
I am a Breaking News Reporter at Forbes, with a focus on covering important tech policy and business news. Graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Business and…