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Aug 04, 2021 / 15:39

Vietnam seeks opportunities to import Covid-19 drugs

The country said it will soon approve Remdesivir for treating Covid-19 patients.

Vietnam is making efforts to import drugs for Covid-19 treatment in the context that the infections reach more than 170,000.

The Embassy of Vietnam in India has set up a “Rapid response team on drugs and vaccines” to purchase Covid drugs from Indian suppliers.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau (3rd left) works with a representative of Dr. Reddy. Photo: Embassy of Vietnam in India

In the latest move, big Indian pharmaceutical companies namely Hetero, Dr. Reddy, Cipla, Jubilant, Mylan, Zydus, and Cadila have pledged to supply Vietnam with one million doses of Remdesivir in a month, according to the Embassy of Vietnam in India.

The move was made after various talks between the Vietnamese Ambassador to India, Pham Sanh Chau, and Indian firms.

Meanwhile, representatives of India’s Ministries of Foreign, and Commerce and Industry pledged to facilitate the export to Vietnam.

According to Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau: “The embassy’s officials are working at 200% capacity with about 10 online meetings per day to look for suppliers, taking advantage of every single hour in the hope that Covid-19 patients would be timely treated.”

In another move, Vingroup, Vietnam’s leading private conglomerate, has inked a deal to import 500,000 Remdesivir vials from Indian Cipla that are developed by US-based Gilead Sciences.

Vingroup would donate the drug to the Ministry of Health for treatment in Vietnam, according to the ministry.

The health ministry will soon approve Remdesivir for treating Covid-19 patients, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son told local media, saying that Vietnam has used this drug [from donation] in some institutions.

Vu Tuan Cuong, head of the ministry’s Drug Administration, said the ministry considers licensing Favipiravir, which has a similar mechanism of action to Remdesivir.

Remdesivir (Veklury) was approved in October 2020 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating adult and 12 years of age and older patients hospitalized with Covid-19. It warns that Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care.

The drug was used in some 50 countries, including Australia, Japan, India, Singapore, and the US.

Favipiravir is an oral medication, which was first used to fight coronavirus infections in Wuhan, China and has been approved for use in many countries like the US, the EU, the UK, Australia, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore, among others.

 Remdesivir. Photo: Yonhap/VNA