ISLAMABAD          -        Around 57 pharmaceutical companies in the country are manufacturing the ‘Dexamethasone’, the medicine welcomed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for treatment of critically ill Corona virus (COVID-19) patients, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Asim Rauf informed The Nation that the authority has started its work regarding ensuring availability of the ‘Dexamethasone’ medicine, since the announcement of its effectiveness on critically ill COVID-19 patients was made.  

He said according to the data collected so far by the authority, 57 pharmaceutical companies in the country are manufacturing the medicine. The authority has started a comprehensive work to calculate the availability of raw material and current position of stock of the medicine in the country. “Around four companies contacted so far have ensured that there will be no shortage of the medicine in the country,” he said.    

CEO DRAP said that the medicine ‘Dexamethasone’ has been registered in Pakistan since long and is available at an affordable price as well. He said that no element will be allowed of hoarding or price hike of the medicine and the authority will take strict action against the elements involved in any such practice.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services (NHS) in his social media message said that  “ WHO has welcomed positive results from UK on use of Dexamethasone in critical patients, 1st treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring Oxygen or ventilator support.“ 

President Pakistan Drugs Lawyers Forum (PPDLF) Noor Mehar said that

effects of Dexamethasone are frequently seen within a day and last for about three days. He said the price of one brand injection in Pakistan of this medicine is around Rs21 of 4mg 1ml. He added that it’s a steroid and it does have side effects.