Amid the ongoing debate over benefits and side-effects of using the antiviral medication Favipiravir, Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital – the national capital’s first COVID-19 only facility – has decided to discontinue the drug among its patients.
The decision was taken in a meeting called the director professor of medicine Dr MK Daga of the hospital on June 29, 2020. The drug was being given in mild to moderate cases. However, doctors decided to discontinue its use because of the side-effects.
Side Effects of Favipiravir
- Decreased appetite
- Increased uric acid levels
- Decrease neutrophil counts
- Increased AST/ALT
Favipiravir is an oral antiviral drug approved in Japan in 2014 for the treatment of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections. It has a unique mechanism of action by which it inhibits viral replication or reproduction.
The hospital, however, has decided to continue the usage of Remdesivir which are being used for the moderate cases after no response to steroids in 3 days and no response to oxygen therapy (increasing demand of FiO2).
Meanwhile, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has announced a partnership with Tokyo-based Fujifilm Corporation and Dubai-based Global Response Aid for the development, manufacture, and sales of Avigan Tablets (favipiravir
Under the tripartite agreement, Fujifilm grants Dr Reddy’s exclusive rights of manufacturing. Also, it grants both Dr Reddy’s and GRA the rights to develop, sell and distribute Avigan in all countries other than Japan, China and Russia, a press release from the Indian drugmaker said.
The company would have exclusive rights for the development, selling, and distribution of Avigan in India. Further, Fujifilm would receive an upfront undisclosed license fee and royalties on sales from Dr Reddy’s and GRA, it said.
Fujifilm will provide Dr Reddy’s and GRA an array of data on Avigan’s preclinical and clinical studies that it has accumulated so far while the latter will use it for clinical studies targeting COVID-19 in regions where the infection has been spreading.