Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren wrote to India's central government yesterday seeking permission to import 50,000 Remdesivir doses from Bangladesh to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.
"With the increasing demand for Remdesivir for critical patients in Jharkhand and its unavailability, we have reached out to the Pharma companies in Bangladesh for buying around 50,000 vials for emergency use. I have written to DV Sadananda Gowda Ji for permission to import as soon as possible," Soren tweeted earlier today.
In the letter sent to the India's cabinet minister for the chemicals and fertilisers ministry, Soren wrote that they had anticipated the second wave to be "less virulent" due to vaccination and herd immunity, but "on the contrary, a large portion of patients are showing major symptoms".
Saying that there were 23,045 active cases as of April 17, he pointed out that Jharkhand had received 8,038 vials of the Covid-19 vaccine against its demand of 76,640.
"We have been able to get a quotation from BEXIMCO Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Bangladesh for 50,000 vials of Demsivir IV Injection (Remdesivir) at the total cost of one million dollars…," he wrote in the letter to DV Sadananda Gowda, adding the Jharkhand government was willing to procure it at the earliest.
Contacted, Nazmul Hassan Papon, managing director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, told The Daily Star, ""We have not received any formal enquiry yet. Someone contacted one of our executives and enquired about our export price.
"Since we are exporting Remdesevir to different countries, he [the person contacted at Beximco] has given an indicative price. We also informed him [the person enquiring] that it will take some time to deliver since we do not have large quantities in stock.
"The entire thing was informal. Once we receive formal orders, we can actually comment. There are a lot of formalities involved in export. Plus, we will also have to see what quantities we can export and how long it will take. So far, everything is too preliminary to comment," Papon said.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals introduced the generic Remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment in May last year.