Nepal relies on India for life-saving Remdesivir drug


Kathmandu: Nepal has been relying on the Indian market for life-saving Remdesivir drug, which is being used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients across the world.

Though the drug is not seen as a cure to the virus, it has played an important role in bringing patients out from a critical medical stage.

Sapana’s (name changed) father is admitted to a private hospital in Kathmandu and undergoing treatment at intensive care unit (ICU), as he was confirmed to have contracted the virus. She asked her chemist, who had contacts in India, to order Remdesivir as it was not available in Nepal.

“As my chemist had contacts in India, he was able to bring it to Nepal. Now, my father is doing well and is out of danger. If the medicine was not available in India, his condition would have become worrisome,” Sapana said.

According to Sapana, the drug costs up to Rs 7,000 in India and around 20,000 Nepali rupees in the Himalayan nation, including freight charges. The Nepal government has given permission to three companies for procurement of the drug from foreign countries including India and the US.

“If we can import it in large amounts then relatives of COVID-19 patients would not need to pay the extra charges which come as freight and commissions. Hope, the drug would be imported as soon as possible from India and the US,” said Dr Prabhat Adhikari, a virologist.

Nepal’s Medical Council’s directive (interim clinical guidance for COVID-19) has also enlisted Remdesivir drug for primary medication.

Out of 123 medicine importers registered with the Department of Drug Administration, the majority of them import from Indian companies. (ANI)