FabiFlu: the anti-Covid drug now the best-selling pharmaceutical brand

MUMBAI: Call it the Covid effect. The antiviral drug Favipiravir, used for the treatment of Covid-19, skyrocketed to top-selling pharmaceutical brand in April for the first time in the domestic retail market.
The drug, marketed by Mumbai-based Glenmark as Fabiflu, recorded sales of Rs 352 crore in April alone, surpassing sales of drugs for lifestyle ailments such as diabetes, which have long dominated the market. market.
In April, Fabiflu surpassed sales of other top-selling drugs used in Covid-19 therapy, including the health supplement Zincovit and the pain reliever Dolo.
Fabiflu wipes sales of Rs 762crore in past 12 months
During the pandemic, the upper pecking order has undergone a shift, with Zincovit becoming the best-selling pharmaceutical brand in October of last year, while others like Monocef, Dolo and Betadine have seen strong growth this year.
For the 12-month period ended in April, Fabiflu mopped up sales of Rs 762 crore, higher than the diabetes drug, Glycomet-GP’s Rs 564 crore, of which about half in April alone, according to company data. AIOCD Awacs Pharmaceutical Research Center.

In September, Glenmark hit its highest monthly sales by around Rs 60 crore and then declined, in line with the decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases. Sales rebounded after mid-March as cases started to increase, while in February sales were insignificant.
“All of our efforts from the beginning have been to provide physicians with a safe and effective outpatient treatment option and reduce the burden on hospitals and the nation’s healthcare system,” Glenn Saldanha, President and MD Glenmark Pharmaceuticals told TOI .

Favipiravir is an early-use antiviral that has shown promising results in some countries, including Japan, but its effectiveness has been under a cloud in India. Regardless, the drug is prescribed and widely used in Covid-19 therapy across the country, with its sales seeing a massive increase in the second wave.
The antiviral drug was approved in June by India’s drug regulator under “restricted emergency clearance” under the fast-track approval process, for mild to moderate cases.

More than 30 companies currently produce Favipiravir, including Sun Pharma, Cipla, Abbott, Alkem, Dr Reddy’s, Hetero, Brinton, Jenburkt, Lasa Supergenerics, Delcure and Strides Pharma. Glenmark has also improved the strength of Fabiflu to reduce the burden of the pill, and is now offered in 400 and 800 mg options.

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