ET Now: What is your take on the Remdesivir situation, including the price drop?
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: This surge in demand was completely unexpected. The companies have rallied around, with everyone rapidly ramping up production. I think we will be able to put availability issues behind us in a few weeks’ time.
By early or mid May, we should be able to cater to all the demand.
As far as pricing is concerned, it’s the market forces that have brought prices down substantially. This augurs well for patients who need it.
There is a shortage of other Covid drugs as well. When do you see the situation normalising?
It is very difficult to predict how long the second wave will last. We are ramping up production of drugs like Itolizumab and Tocilizumab to meet surge demand.
There is an acute shortage. This is a life saving drug. So there is a huge challenge, and we are all trying to address it.
What is your view on people catching Covid after the first vaccine shot, and some even after the second one?
We must understand that chances of re-infection are high for all viral diseases. What vaccination does is, it protects you from severe infection.
With one shot, your body is able to rapidly deploy its defensives against an invading virus. Therefore it is important to vaccinate as many people as possible at least with one shot.
Those getting re-infected after vaccination are only catching moderate or mild contractions. That is an important thing to take note of. That is why there is a need to double down on vaccine deployment.
When do you think the second surge will peak?
See, one must understand that the virus has mutated. You will now have mutant strains that will go on challenging us. But like I said, if a substantial percentage of the population can be vaccinated, that will enable us to keep our hospitals and medical resources from getting overwhelmed.
The second wave, in my opinion, will take a few more months to subside. I think we should be prepared for various types of possibilities.