ISLAMABAD              -          A message is circulating on WhatsApp and social media, purportedly confirming the launch of an unlicensed treatment for Covid-19 imported from Bangladesh. The message quotes a price of Rs. 20,000 per injection, and promotes a 10-day Covid-19 treatment course at a package cost of Rs. 220,000.

Certain versions of this message also appear to link the name of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited with the launch. We would like to clarify to the public at large that Ferozsons has no connection with the launch of the treatment being imported from Bangladesh and marketed in Pakistan. It should be noted that no product can be launched or promoted in Pakistan prior to regulatory approval from the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), and Ferozsons takes exception to the linkage of its name with the launch or promotion of any treatment which is yet to receive DRAP approval.

Remdesivir, a proprietary product of Gilead Sciences Inc., USA was granted Emergency Use Authorisation by the United States FDA on May 1, 2020.

As a licensee of Gilead Sciences, Ferozsons, through its subsidiary BF Biosciences Limited, is committed to urgently making available a licensed product manufactured under a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for remdesivir, and to ethical communication at all times.

Putting Patients First is and will always remain at the heart of the Ferozsons operating philosophy.

Meanwhile, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has issued a show-cause notice to SEARLE Pakistan noting that a social media campaign is being run by SEARLE that claims that first generic of the drug Remdesivir injection for COVID - 19 is being launched by them at Rs. 20,000 per dose.

DRAP further informed that they have neither registered Remdesivir of any manufacturer or importer nor have fixed MRP (retail price) of the said injection. DRAP has asked SEARLE Pakistan to explain their position on why not proceedings be initiated against them for unethical marketing of an unregistered drug. DRAP has given 2 days’ time SEARLE to file their response.