August 10: It took almost two months for the Department of Drug Administration to clear the way for importing emergency medicine which is considered effective in the treatment of coronavirus. Remdicivir injection is being imported after the department completed all the procedure for the import.
Some importers approached the department last May seeking permission for import. The medical sector has been criticizing the department for delaying the emergency import of medicines.
The department had requested for permission from the Ministry of Health and Population on June 24 for the import of Remdesivir and Favipiravir.
The ministry took a month to give permission to the department. The ministry had directed the department to move ahead with the import process of Remdicivir by a secretary-level decision on July 20. The department took almost the same amount of time to prepare the procedure as well. Santosh KC, spokesperson of the department, informed that the procedure for importing drugs was passed on Sunday.
“The importers need to complete the due process because the government has not officially approved the drug for treatment of coronavirus, although it is considered effective for treating the disease,” KC told New Business Age.
The demand for importing the drug has increased as the number of deaths from coronavirus has climbed in Nepal. It is seen that this drug has been effective in treating coronavirus in countries including India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
It was being imported illegally as the department did not allow the import.
Doctors say that the drug that is available in India for IRs 5,000 costs more than Rs 50,000 here because of the shortage.