Triggering another round of price wars for a potential Covid-19 drug, Sun Pharma launched antiviral Favipiravir at an “economical’’ price of Rs.35 per tablet for the treatment of mild to moderate cases.
With this, the company’s version ‘FluGuard’ becomes one of the cheapest brands in the market, joining nearly a dozen players which have announced or launched their own generic versions.
The antiviral drug was approved by India’s drug regulator as ‘restricted emergency authorisation’ under the accelerated approval process. Emergency use authorisation is a provision that allows countries to use drugs urgently needed in an emergency situation or healthcare crisis.
Meanwhile, a month after its launch, Glenmark Pharma had announced reduction in the price of its Covid drug, FabiFlu, by 27% to Rs.75 from the earlier Rs.103 per tablet. This was possible, it said due to better scale and yield with a larger quantity of tablets being manufactured. A host of companies had also entered the market with more affordable versions, leading to price cuts. Jenburkht and Briton versions are priced between Rs.35-37 per tablet, while the rest are priced at around Rs.60 per tablet.
It is learnt that last week certain companies had reduced prices of the drug again.
Industry experts say the price reductions may continue due to intense competition and economies of scale. Companies are also planning to commence exports to countries where the drug has been approved like Turkey, UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council.