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Maharashtra to begin remdesivir clinical trial as Covid-19 cases rise sharply

The Maharashtra government has decided to begin clinical trials of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug with a proven record of efficacy against Covid-19.

The trial will be initiated at all 14 state-run medical colleges and the four colleges run by BMC. Dr TP Lahane, the head of Directorate of Medical Education and Research, issued the order for remdesivir trials.

DMER has asked ethics committees of the selected hospital to give approval for initiating the trials. One of the approval is received from some hospitals, the state government will seek permission from the Drug Controller General of India to allow the companies to supply the drug.

The state will procure 3,000 vials and provide it to 18 medical colleges. This will be used only in emergency cases with approval from the family of the patient.

BDR Pharmaceuticals and Hetereo will be providing the drugs for trial without any cost. Later on, the drug can be procured through a Bangladeshi company, Beximco at $65 per vial.

The state’s Covid-19 taskforce had already urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last month to find a way to “overcome the bureaucratic hurdles” and give immediate access to the drug for treating patients.

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