It has sent a notice to pharmaceutical company Searle
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has declared that it has not registered Remdesivir in Pakistan. The antiviral drug is being tested in some parts of the world as a possible treatment for COVID-19.
DRAP sent a notice on June 3 to the pharmaceutical company Searle which had obtained the license to import and distribute Remdesivir in Pakistan.
“It has been reported that you have launched a social media campaign claiming that M/s Searle Pakistan has introduced the first generic of the drug Remdesivir Injection for Covid-19 at the price of Rs20,000/- per dose,” DRAP Assistant Director Quality Control Muhammad Ashfaq wrote.
“DRAP has yet neither registered Remdesivir of any manufacturer/importer nor MRP has been fixed.”
The regulatory body termed the marketing of the drug “unethical”. The notice added that the pharma company’s marketing violated the rules of DRAP Act, 2012.
DRAP has also warned Searle that proceedings against the company will be initiated in two days if it failed to explain its position.
Meanwhile, Searle said in a Facebook post on June 3 the information circulating about the price of Remdesivir injection was false.
“There has been false information spreading about Bemsivir (Remdesivir) Injection prices,” it said. “Searle dispels the baseless rumours and urges individuals to only refer to information and updates on our official pages and contact persons!”
The company announced on May 29 that it had obtained marketing rights from Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Bangladesh to import Remdesivir. It said the antiviral drug would be distributed free of cost to hospitals.
Remdesivir is an antiviral nucleotide analogue that disrupts viral replication. It stops the novel coronavirus from multiplying inside human cells.
The US Food and Drug Administration had given it emergency use authorisation in early May for severely ill, hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
India also approved the drug for emergency use on June 3.