On Monday, shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd fell over by 5 percent to an intraday low of Rs 405 after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) issued notices to the company seeking clarification over its alleged "false claims" about the use of anti-viral FabiFlu on COVID-19 patients with comorbidities and also over the "pricing" of the drug, on receiving a complaint from a member of Parliament.
According to a PTI report, DCGI's Dr V G Somani in a letter to the company stated that his office received a representation from an MP that the total cost of the treatment with FabiFlu (favipiravir) will be around Rs 12,500 and that the "cost proposed by Glenmark is definitely not in the interest of the poor, lower middle class and middle-class people of India."
"Further it has been mentioned in the representation that Glenmark has also claimed that this drug is effective in co-morbid conditions like hypertension, diabetics, whereas in reality, as per protocol summary, this trial was not designed to assess the FabiFlu in comorbid condition," the letter as quoted by PTI said.
No clinically sufficient data specific to these conditions are available, the DCGI said in its letter.
"In view of this, you are requested to provide your clarification on the above points for taking further necessary action in the matter," it added.
Glenmark had initially fixed the price of the Fabiflu at Rs 103 per tablet, which took the overall cost of the 14-day regimen that includes 122 tablets to Rs 12,500. The company last week dropped the prices to Rs 75 per tablet that brought the cost down to Rs 9,150.
Fabiflu is the generic version of Favipiravir. It was approved by DCGI for treating mild COVID-19 patients in June.