Favipiravir Fastest Molecule to Cross I100cr Just 2 months after launch, sales of Covid-19 drug jump from 11 crore in JUNe to 140 crore in Sept; prices expected to fall Divya Rajagopal & Teena Thacker Mumbalt | New Delhi: Favipiravir, a drug used in the treatment of Covid-19patients withmildsymptoms, becamethelargest-selling medicine in India in September, with locally made versions notching up sales of rlqocrore. Domesticbrandsof Favipiravirregistered the fastest growth since their launch in June, according to datafrom market research fIrm IMS IQUVIA and the All Indian Ortgin Chemists & Distributors. (AIOCD). India has added 5.89 million new Covid-19 cases since June, with almost 70% of them reported to be mild. India's drug controller had approved Favipiravir, an old Japanese flu drug, for restricted emergency use in mild to moderate cases of Covid-19. Although India's guidelines on managing Covid-19 do not mentton this drug, states suchas Maharashtraand Karnataka have allowed tt for mild cases of Covid-19, According tothe data, sales of the drugmoved up rom e11 crore tn June to e140 crore in September. Industryofficials said thedrugisperhaps the first to have crossed the IO00 crore mark in only two months. There are over 10 brands of the drug available in Indla, with Glenmark's brand leading in sales, followed by Cipla and Lupin. Prices of most brands have declined by almost 50% Since, with compantes vyin Demand. Glenmark's brand leads ' the charts, followed by Cipla & Lupin Ing for volume and market share. The cheapest brand of Faviptravir Is now priced at 30 per tablet. "We anticipate there will be a further reduction as the price of the drug's raw material has also cras 140 a ii Favlipiravir drug sales now from e141 cr in June Over 10 No. of brands r3o/abet W.price for the cheapest brand of favipiravir hed,"" sald anofficial fromacompany manufacturingthedrug. Theofficial satd trial results from Fut Fllm released last week may also encourage physicians toprescribethedrug. Japan's Fuji Film, which developed Favipiravir, branded as Avigan, sald last week that tr1als showed that patients who took Favipiravir recovered in 11.5days compared with 14 days for those who were given placebos to achieve viral clearance. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research has yet to include Favipiravir inthenatlonal treatment protocol. "We will walt for the full published trial results from Fut Film before takingadecisionon this," satd an official awareof theclinical protocol. Some experts from the national taskforce had raised doubts in June about the effectiveness of the drug and dectded to walt for another study done by ICMR on Favipiravir. "We havenot taken up the matter again. The results of the trial done by ICMR are awaltted," this official added.