Oseltamivir is the generic name of anti-H1N1flu drug and at present only six companies, namely Ranbaxy, Cipla, Metco, Strides, Roche and Hetero, have the permission to manufacture this medicine.
The launch of FLUVIR comes at a time when the lethal swine flu virus has sniffed life out of more than 250 people and has affected 8,153 people across the length and breath of the country.
Shops with Schedule X license to stock drug
Hitherto’s FLUVIR, available at government controlled hospitals till now, will be available at close to 480 designated chemists having Schedule X license.
The drug, priced at Rs.450 for 10 tablets, will continue to be sold strictly on a doctor’s prescription. The schedule X license holders are required to mandatorily maintain a record of prescriptions, name of the prescribing doctor as well as the details of the person to whom it is sold. People who intend to purchase FLUVIR will have to produce two copies of prescription of the drug.
Prior to the official notification to allow the retail sale of FLUVIR, the government acquired 19 million capsules of the medicine from Hetero to thwart the spread of the highly contagious Influenza A (H1N1). FLUVIR has been found to be effective against Avian flu (bird flu).
Hetero to increase production
Upon the Central government’s request, Hetero has already increased the production capacity of FLUVIR from 100 million capsules per month to 200 million capsules.
The company has also set up manufacturing facilities in Vishakapatnam, which will be exclusively used to manufacture FLUVIR. The company already has an adequate supply of raw materials to cater to the demand of FLUVIR which is likely to treat millions of swine flu patients.
Srinivas Reddy, marketing director of Hetero, said, "With our manufacturing facilities exclusively for FLUVIR, Hetero will be able to deliver sufficient number of doses to treat more than 2 crore people in an emergency situation."
Established in the year 1993, Hetero today is an international pharmaceutical player developing and commercializing therapeutic products. The company markets its products in over 100 countries in Asia, Middle-east, Eastern Europe and Latin America.