American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co on Tuesday said that it would make an immediate initial donation of 400,000 tablets of its coronavirus treatment to the Indian government for eligible hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
“Lilly is offering donations of Baricitinib to the Indian government through Direct Relief while simultaneously working with local Indian pharmaceutical companies to execute royalty-free voluntary licensing agreements to accelerate the manufacturing and distribution of the medicine in India during the pandemic,” the company said in a press release.
An initial donation of 400,000 Baricitinib tablets is being made immediately available to the Indian government for eligible hospitalised Covid-19 patients in India and Lilly will work urgently to increase the quantity of donated product multifold over the coming weeks, it added.
On Monday, Lilly received emergency use authorization by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, a division of the Ministry of Health, for its usage in eligible hospitalised Covid-19 patients requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
What is Baricitinib?
Baricitinib is an oral medication currently registered in India for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients who have responded inadequately to, or who are intolerant to one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
“With the Covid-19 crisis devastating India, hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of cases and patients need access to potentially life-saving treatments such as baricitinib,” said David A Ricks, Lilly chairman and CEO. “We hope that our donations as well as collaborations with other organizations speed access to baricitinib and provide treatment options for these patients.”
As the global pandemic evolves, Lilly continues to evaluate opportunities to provide treatments to Covid-19 patients in countries around the world, the company said.