Indian generic firm Hetero Drugs has reportedly launched oseltamivir syrup to treat patients with H1N1 swine flu infection.
Hetero Drugs, which launched oseltamivir under brand name Fluvir in India, produces the H1N1 swine drug under the sub licence from Roche which it signed in 2005.
Oseltamivir is the branded drug of the Swiss drug major Roche which markets the drug under the popularly name Tamiflu.
Hetero Drug has supplied the first stock of Fluvir (oseltamivir) paediatric syrup Oseltamivir for private sale across the 12 designated chemists’ shops having schedule X licence in Pune, Maharashtra, reports said.
A consignment of 250 bottles, meant for swine flu infected children below the age of 12 years, has been made available for sale strictly against the prescription of a qualified doctor of allopathy, according to the report.
Hetero’s Fluvir syrup costs Rs 520 for a bottle containing of 75 ml of oseltamivir, reports said quoting chemists’ association sources of Pune District.
Because the current batch of Fluvir syrup is in 75 mg adult dosage, it can be used to treat only for patients above twelve years.
Hetero Drugs markets Fluvir (oseltamivir) capsules in doses of 35 mg, 45 mg and 75 mg.
The syrup is usually given to patients whose body weight is below 40 kg.Fluvir syrup can be used to treat children of below 12 years of age, as well.
Need for oseltamivir in syrup form has increased rapidly as the H1N1 infection started shifting to age-group of 5-14 years drastically, of late.
Fluvir syrup, like tablets, will be given only against the prescription of a qualified doctor of allopathy.
In May, Hetero Drugs Ltd, a Hyderabad-based drug maker has bagged the million-dose oseltamivir order from the government of India, winning over other leading suppliers of the generic version of Tamiflu including Cipla and Ranbaxy.
Hetero had supplied nearly one million capsules of oseltamivir Government of India, earlier too. Hetero, which claims to have reached a monthly production capacity of about 80 million doses of oseltamivir within weeks, can still boost the production of the antiviral drug oseltamivir, if needed, the company said.
The other leading Indian generic makers, who have developed capabilities to produce oseltmaivir, such as Cipla, Ranbaxy and Natco are yet to receive orders from the Indian health ministry.
Natco Pharma,another generic firm from Hyderbad, India, which supplies oseltamivir under the brand name Natflu, is planning to launch syrup version of oseltamivir for paediatric use in India.
Oseltamivir is one of the two currently available options to treat H1N1 virus, which is causing swine flu. The other drug that can combat H1N1 is GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza. There is no vaccine against swine flu.