Dr. Reddy’s launches generic anti-COVID drug at about 50 cents a pill

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Indian drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. will launch its generic version of Merck’s antiviral therapeutic COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, and is priced at 35 rupees ($0.4693) per capsule under the brand name Molflu.

Each strip is expected to have ten capsules. With the recommended dose of 800 mg twice a day for five days, the entire course of 40 pills would cost 1400 ($18.77) rupees, making it the most affordable treatment option available to patients. In contrast, the same treatment with Merck’s pill in the U.S. cost $700.

Molflu is expected to be available for the public from early next week in pharmacies throughout India, with a particular focus on States with high COVID-19 caseloads. Dr. Reddy’s will manufacture the drug at a USFDA-approved facility, and the Indian pharmaceuticals maker had made adequate to ensure that it was able to help patients in need.

Last week, Indian gave emergency use approval to molnupiravir and two other vaccines, as the world’s largest democracy braces for a possible spike in coronavirus cases due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. A total of 13 companies will manufacture molnupiravir in India, the country’s health minister reported last week.