A breakthrough achieved in the fight against COVID19, FabiFlu – Favipiravir manufactured by Glenmark, has received approval for the manufacture and marketing of the antiviral drug. Favipiravir is one of the medicines that is being explored as a potential treatment for Covid-19. It is the first medication to be approved and commercially available for the treatment of Covid-19.
Favipiravir, sold under the brand name FabiFlu.
Avigan, or Abigan, is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan, approved in 2014.
Will this work in all COVID19 Cases?
Glenmark has said that the drug is advised for mild to moderate Covid-19 cases.
To address the urgency of raising Covid-19 cases, Drug Controller General Of India fast-tracked permission to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to manufacture and market favipiravir tablets.
Cost of the Drug.
The drug is priced at Rs.3,500 for a pack of 34 tablets. Rs103 per tablet. It will be available in retail chemist stores and hospitals by next week.
Can you take FabiFlu by Yourself?
NO, IT IS A PRESCRIPTION DRUG. Also, Doctors will need a patient’s consent before prescribing the drug. According to Glenmark, the drug can be used in Covid-19 patients with comorbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, who have mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.
It offers a rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic improvement.
How effective is Favipiravir?
Studies from Japan, Russia, and China have shown positive results. Favipiravir shows the clinical improvement of up to 88% in COVID-19, with rapid reduction in viral load by 4 days. Clinical improvement noted across age groups 20 to 70 years, including in patients with comorbid conditions like diabetes and heart disease suffering from mild to moderate COVID-19.
Currently, the drug is subject to at least 18 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 patients across India, USA, Canada, Italy, China, France, UK, and other countries.
Other nations like Italy and China are using Favipiravir as commercially.
Are there any risks?
In Japan, Avigan’s use has been strictly controlled by the government due to potential risk for “Teratogenicity”.
Teratogen means a drug or other substance capable of interfering with the development of a foetus, causing birth defects.
The mechanism that makes Avigan effective against viruses also makes it destructive to the rapid cell growth of foetuses.
Other drugs in clinical trails in India:
Favipiravir and Umifenovir are the drugs approved by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for clinical test to treat Covid-19, at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Now in clinical trials-
2. Umifenovir (Arbidol)
3. Mycobacterium W (anti-leprosy drug).