District Minister visits Jubilant Nanjangud; meets company officials with request
Mysore/Mysuru: Jubilant Generics, a pharmaceutical company, in Nanjangud that had turned a COVID-19 positive hotspot during the first wave of the pandemic last year is back in news again, this time however with some positive news in the real sense. District Minister S.T. Somashekar has urged the company to increase production of Remdesivir, the drug that is used to treat COVID patients.
Jubilant produces Remdesivir injection under the brand name ‘JUBI-R’ 100 mg (lyophilized injection) in India for treatment of COVID-19. In May 2020, Jubilant had entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences in the US that granted it the right to register, manufacture and sell Gilead’s investigational drug Remdesivir in 127 countries, including India.
Visiting the Jubilant factory in Nanjangud yesterday, the Minister met top company officials including Vice-President Lakshminarayan and asked them to consider Mysuru where the COVID-19 situation is worrying as a special case and make the drug available for the treatment of patients admitted in the district based on the request from the District Administration.
Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that has received Emergency Use Authorization by the USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalised with severe disease.
Somashekar said the Government was under pressure to meet the vast demand for the drug in the wake of the spike in second wave and there is a danger of the State facing acute shortage of the drug. “Until the cases see a sharp drop and the situation improved, Jubilant can consider producing the drug in higher volumes to meet the demand,” the Minister suggested.
“Every other patient admitted in the hospitals of the district is asking for Remdesivir injection. We are happy to note that Jubilant that had become a COVID cluster in the first wave is producing the drug that cures that particular disease,” he said.
Jubilant pharmaceutical plant in Nanjangud was temporarily closed for almost two-and-a-half months from March last year after some employees of the company tested positive for COVID-19.
Responding to the Minister’s request, Lakshminarayan said that he will bring the matter to the notice of the company management and suggested that the Department of Health and Family Welfare submit a proposal on the quantity of drug it wanted. Company sources said that the senior company management in New Delhi has been sounded about Mysuru District’s requirements and a call would be taken based on the request made by the District authorities.
Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, Nanjangud MLA B. Harshavardhan, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev, Superintendent of Police C.B. Ryshyanth, City BJP President T.S. Srivatsa, special officer Dinesh Gooligowda and others were present.