All stories by Sohini Das
How India is gearing up to distribute Covid-19 vaccineRediff.com18 Sep 2020
A model being considered is to have a combined cold chain approach - where the agricultural cold chain would be combined with vaccine cold chains.
Labs bet on Covid tests for next growth phaseRediff.com14 Sep 2020
The bouquet of Covid-19 tests that most diagnostic labs are offering include antibody tests (blood tests), rapid antigen tests (point of care tests that detect the presence of an antigen from a nasal or throat swab in case of SARS-CoV-2), and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.
India will wait for DCGI nod to restart Oxford vaccine trialRediff.com11 Sep 2020
The global trials were halted after a study participant suffered a 'potentially unexplained illness, reports Sohini Das.
In the works: Priority list of who will get Covid vaccine firstRediff.com4 Sep 2020
The Centre has also contacted five domestic and three multinational vaccine makers to understand how soon a candidate vaccine against Covid-19 will be ready.
Indian pharma firms working on new repurposed drug for Covid-19Rediff.com2 Sep 2020
Many companies globally are working on plasma research to develop and manufacture hyperimmune globulin therapies from plasma donations.
How India's healthcare system will change foreverRediff.com27 Aug 2020
The National Digital Health Mission seeks to provide a unique health ID to each citizen who wishes to have one and also on-board the healthcare service provides - hospitals, pharmacies and diagnostic labs, among others. It will have an online database of doctors and personal health records.
'Cipla has emerged as a great "catchment area" for talent'Rediff.com20 Aug 2020
An insider said that over the past decade or so Cipla has become immune to the exits of leaders. There have been no directional change in the long-term strategies.
Serum Institute to start phase-2 trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccineRediff.com19 Aug 2020
The institute expects to complete both, phase-2 and 3 trials in India by the end of this year.
Covid drug sales shine even as market slowsRediff.com18 Aug 2020
Fabiflu sales have grown by 62 per cent in July. It was launched in June. This drug is being used by doctors for mild-to-moderate Covid patients even if they are in home isolation.
Fortis to re-brand itself as ParkwayRediff.com15 Aug 2020
The company said this was 'important' to reinforce the 'complete disassociation' from its erstwhile promoters -- Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.
How govt plans to distribute Covid-19 vaccineRediff.com13 Aug 2020
The procurement and distribution will be centralised though the government is yet to take a call on the initial number of doses that will be procured.
After showing signs of recovery, pharma sales dip in JulyRediff.com11 Aug 2020
Growth has been under pressure since the lockdowns related to Covid-19 started and fresh prescription generations slowed.
Serum Institute to provide Covid vaccine at Rs 250 a doseRediff.com8 Aug 2020
Serum Institute of India plans to make 300 million doses of AZD1222 by December, and will begin phase-2 trials soon. It has also tied up with Novavax for development and commercialisation of its candidate.
Meet Adar Poonawala, India's COVID-19 vaccine manRediff.com6 Aug 2020
Serum Institute is investing $200 million to create capacities for the COVID-19 vaccine. Sohini Das profiles its 39-year-old CEO.
At Rs 35 a pill, Sun Pharma's FluGuard is the cheapest favipiravir drugRediff.com5 Aug 2020
Favipiravir is the only oral anti-viral treatment approved in India for potential treatment of patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease.
Dr Reddy's to launch Covid drugs remdesivir and favipiravir in AugustRediff.com30 Jul 2020
Apart from favipiravir and remdesivir, its key Covid-19 products, DRL has already launched nutraceutical products and hand sanitisers during the pandemic.
'We will price Covid vaccine below Rs 1,000'Rediff.com29 Jul 2020
Pune's Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker by volume, is placing its bets on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate AZD1222 with CEO Adar Poonawalla stating he would start manufacturing at personal risk.
Glenmark's favipiravir under fire for 'misguided' claims of Covid-19 drugRediff.com20 Jul 2020
The Drug Controller General of India has sent a letter to the Glenmark seeking clarifications on pricing as well as claims of therapeutic efficacy. While Glenmark has claimed this drug is effective in comorbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, according to protocol summary (of clinical trials) the trial was not designed to access the Fabiflu in comorbid conditions.
Every 3rd tablet in the US market is from IndiaRediff.com9 Jul 2020
India lost its competitive advantage as China gave fiscal benefits to its local manufacturers. Besides, recent policy flip-flops have, however, dented India's image as the 'pharmacy of the world'.
Cipla to price Remdesivir for Covid-19 under Rs 5,000Rediff.com25 Jun 2020
Hetero has priced the injectable drug at Rs 5,400 per 100 mg vial. With More drugmakers in line to launch the drug soon, the prices may see a further erosion.
Hetero to launch Remdesivir as Covifor this weekRediff.com22 Jun 2020
The Hyderabad-based firm will first make the drug available in high case load areas of Maharashtra and Delhi under the brand Covifor. A single dose vial is likely to cost Rs 5,000-6000.
India-made Remdesivir may come out in 10 daysRediff.com19 Jun 2020
The antiviral drug may cost around Rs 55,000 for an 11-dose course, or Rs 5,000 per injection -- much less than the price of imports from Bangladesh, reports Sohini Das.
Despite controversies India sees widespread use of HCQRediff.com9 Jun 2020
Once touted as a 'wonder drug', HCQ has been battling global controversies around its safety and efficacy as a prophylactic against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Medical devices industry eyes Rs 70,000 cr investment in 5 yearsRediff.com24 May 2020
The government is targeting 1,200 technical collaborations between Japanese companies and Indian investors for over Rs 42,000 crore, 200 joint ventures with overseas investors for Rs 14,000 crore, and another Rs 14,000-crore investment from about 50 multinational companies.
After April shock, drug sales improve in MayRediff.com20 May 2020
The industry feels two factors have played a role in improving the offtake and reducing trade inventory - one is that the supply chain in pharmaceuticals has more or less stabilised, and secondly, with lockdown curbs easing and OPDs opening, some demand has grown at the consumer end as well.
Cipla working on multiple therapies to fight spread of COVIDRediff.com18 May 2020
Cipla is among the three Indian companies that signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences to make and distribute the latter's repurposed Ebola drug Remdesivir in 127 countries including India.
How life has changed for India's pharma salesforceRediff.com11 May 2020
Pharma companies gear up for the 'new normal' as they train and align their sales forces for a paradigm shift. GSK leads the charge with staggered return-to-work, others plans yoga sessions and health care webinars for salesperson's family.
'Famotidine may become the next HCQ for Covid-19'Rediff.com10 May 2020
Researchers at Northwell Health in New York are testing the effects on Famotidine (used in high intravenous doses) on Covid-19 patients as a potential treatment. After the hospital announced its clinical trials, it led to a drug shortage in the US. Back home, however, there has not been any surge in the demand for Famotidine yet.
Mumbai to build Wuhan-like hospital to treat COVID-19 patientsRediff.com7 May 2020
The hospital, in the commercial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex, will serve as an isolation facility for non-critical COVID-19 patients. Expected to be ready in a fortnight, the new makeshift facility can be scaled up to 5,000 beds, if needed. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will run the hospital that will have, among other things, oxygen facilities and pathological laboratories. Sohini Das reports.
You may not get even cold meds without prescriptionRediff.com1 May 2020
Although there is no government order to this effect, chemists decide to not dispense medicines for cold, cough and fever over the counter.
Coronavirus fallout: 5 million children missed vaccination in MarchRediff.com27 Apr 2020
A dipstick survey covering 30 villages in Rajasthan threw up some worrisome numbers. About 250 children missed their regular vaccination schedule in March alone. These numbers are alarming, since India has around 600,000 villages according to the 2011 census. Sohini Das reports.
Cadila believes it has silver bullet to fight COVID-19Rediff.com21 Apr 2020
Can Interferon alfa-2b treat COVID-19 effectively?
Big drugmakers step in to develop, import test kitsRediff.com20 Apr 2020
Cadila, Biocon developing rapid antibody testing kits; Eris, Mylan, Gland importing. There are two kinds of testing for the novel coronavirus - the real-time polymerase chain reaction test kit that uses throat or nasal swabs and provides results in a few hours, and the other is antibody-based rapid testing kit that use blood samples and provides results in a few minutes.
Stool sampling among Covid-19 test options before govtRediff.com18 Apr 2020
Private diagnostic laboratories have already approached the respective state governments and the municipalities where they are operating to approve protocols for such testing in clusters, reports Sohini Das.
India lifts curbs on exports of 13 active pharma ingredientsRediff.com7 Apr 2020
A leading exporter said, there is enough stock of paracetamol in the country. At present, the US, which has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, needs paracetamol. He further said India would lose its credibility as the "pharmacy of the world" if it adopts protectionist policies during such a crisis.
ICMR wants rapid tests in India's coronavirus hotspotsRediff.com6 Apr 2020
The ICMR has already approved a bunch of rapid test kits for launch. The health ministry admitted that clusters of COVID-19 had appeared in many states and the risk of further spread remains very high.
India Inc lines up as demand for rapid testing for coronavirus growsRediff.com3 Apr 2020
The test used now, called PCR (or polymerace chain reaction), uses a nasal or throat swab sample and identifies the virus. These tests take at least five hours to give results. The rapid test, on the other hand, uses a blood sample and gives results based on detecting the presence of certain antibodies that react to the coronavirus protein.
India may ease clinical trial norms for coronavirus vaccineRediff.com1 Apr 2020
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation said while the rights, safety, and well-being of trial subjects were of paramount importance, protocol amendment, deviation or modification might be necessary in some cases owing to unavoidable circumstances.
India readies for massive testing exercise after lockdownRediff.com28 Mar 2020
The ICMR is working on a war footing to develop the testing ecosystem -- especially for the screening blood tests. NIV, Pune, is in the process of validating antibody-based screening kits.
PM's lockdown address best in terms of TV ratingsRediff.com28 Mar 2020
The telecast was viewed by 197 million Indians, higher than the Indian Premier League final which was watched by 133 million, reports Sohini Das.