K’taka sets 24-hr deadline for Cipla, Jubilant for Remdesivir supply

Given the sudden spike in the demand for Remdesivir antiviral injections amid the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Karnataka on Tuesday directed two global pharma majors — Jubilant Pharma and Cipla — to supply the remaining committed quantity of the drug within 24 hours after receiving the notice.

The state revenue department issued a show cause notice to both the pharma majors for failing to supply the committed quantities of Remdesivir within the stipulated time frame.

In the notice issued separately to the two companies, Principal Secretary N. Manjunatha Prasad demanded an explanation from the pharma majors to be furnished within 24 hours of receiving the notice.

According to the notice, on May 1, the Union government had issued orders to Jubilant Pharma and Cipla to supply 32,000 and 30,000 vials of Remdesivir, respectively, to Karnataka by May 9. But till May 8, Karnataka had received only 17,601 vials from Jubilant and 10,840 vials from Cipla.

“Reduced supplies by the companies (Cipla and Jubilant) have resulted in severe impact on the treatment of Covid patients who are in dire need of Remdesivir injections. The non-supply of committed quantities of the drug has constrained the ability of the state government to provide safe treatment to the people, thereby endangering their lives. Thus, Karnataka is invoking the provisions of Disaster Management Act and other IPC sections to direct the companies to restore their committed supplies for the state,” the notice read.

The notice added that the state government has also instructed these companies to submit a detailed plan of supplying day-to-day committed quantities assigned by the Union government.