India: New H1N1 drug launched by Cipla – “Antiflu”

Cipla

Cipla

Indian Pharma major, Cipla (The Chemical, Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories) announced the launch of its generic version of the anti-H1N1 flu medicine under brand name “Antiflu”. This medicine is a generic version of Roche’s Tamiflu and would be available in capsule form for now. A syrup form of the medicine would be launched soon.

Cipla has also offered to supply the medicine to United States and other nations if demanded. Roche’s patent protection has barred the company to sell its version in US and Europe.

“Apparently there is a shortage in the United States,” Y.K. Hamied, also the managing director of the company said at a media briefing during the launch of its drug.

“We have made an offer…(its) upto them.”

The company can produce upto 2 million doses of the medicine per month. The firm has already supplied about 2 million doses to the Indian authorities.

Cipla has so far registered revenue in excess of $10 million by exporting the drug to several countries in Latin America, Africa, some parts of Middle East and South East Asia.

The medicine is supposed to be cost-effective over other versions. The drug is expected to be priced at Rs 475 (about $ 10) for 10 capsules. The 75 ml syrup bottle to be launched shortly is also expected to be priced in a similar fashion.

Cipla’s drug is also pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation.

“We have launched Oseltamivir brand, called Antiflu, which is the only anti-flu medicine from India to be prequalified by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Hamied said.

Cipla’s share rose marginally as a result of the announcement on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

Cipla rose 1.07% to Rs 308.10 at 11:18 IST on BSE on reports it has launched generic versions of anti-flu drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir in the local market to treat the H1N1 flu virus.

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