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40 pharmacos show interest in anti-COVID drug, DRDO in HC

The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday told the Madras High Court that 40 pharmaceutical companies have evinced interest in the anti-Covid-19 drug produced by it.

The submission came in response to a Public Interest Litigation complaining that DRDO had given a license to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad for the production of the anti-Covid-19 drug.

The premier scientific organisation said that it has invited Expressions of Interest (EoIs) to produce its D-glucose (2-DG) and adjunct drug to treat Covid patients, and already 40 pharmaceutical companies had expressed interest.

Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan told a bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and T.V. Thamilselvi that the DRDO was interested in ensuring that the drug, developed by its Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, could be manufactured in as many quantity as possible in the shortest possible time.

The PIL filed by Chennai resident, D. Saravanan, complained that the DRDO had given license to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad alone for making the oral powder at a cost of Rs 990 for a sachet of 2.34 grams.

The court also took note of a submission made by a litigant that the DRDO’s medicine was very effective and a woman Covid-19 patient with comorbidities had a magical cure after being administered with 30 sachets of the drug at a cost of Rs 30,000. The litigant said that the doctor who had treated the patient had said that he can vouch for its efficiency.

Sankaranarayanan told the court that that the DRDO had fixed June 17 as the last date for submission of EoIs and that 40 pharmaceutical companies had envisaged interest to manufacture the medicine with the DRDO knowhow.

The judges reserved their verdict and directed the ASG to circulate all documents related to the case. The Hans India

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