SC Seeks Govt Response on Plea Over Use of Remdesivir, Favipiravir

The apex court sought a response on a plea alleging that Remdesivir and Favipiravir are being used without approval.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read
The Supreme Court of India. 
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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 29 October, took into account a World Health Organisation report, indicating that Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect in the treatment of COVID-19.

The top court sought a response from the Centre on a plea alleging that Remdesivir and Favipiravir are being used without approval.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said after going through the report they noted that it is a serious matter.

Advocate ML Sharma, who appeared in-person, citing the WHO report published on 15 October, submitted that several hundred trials have been carried out with Remdesivir and it is found that this medicine has little or no effect in the treatment of COVID-19.

Remdesivir and Favipiravir are antiviral drugs and their efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients is still under debate among the medical experts.

"Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organisation, indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalised patients", said the WHO report.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court issued notice to the Centre on the plea and sought a response within four weeks.

Sharma insisted that nowhere have these medicines been officially termed as successful in curing COVID-19 patients. The Chief Justice, issuing the notice, said, “we will make the government aware of this (WHO report).”

The WHO report said the study was carried out in more than 30 countries, and looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in the hospitalised patients.

On 26 September, the apex court had said that there was an approval by the Centre on the use of Remdesivir and Favipiravir as medicines in the treatment of COVID-19.

The petitioner had moved the top court seeking registration of an FIR by the CBI against ten Indian pharmaceutical firms for manufacturing and selling these two medicines allegedly without valid licenses.

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