Combating COVID: Eli Lilly accelerating baricitinib availability in India
Indianapolis: Eli Lilly and Company has recently announced new initiatives to help COVID-19 patients in India as part of its commitment to bring the full force of its scientific and medical expertise to attack the coronavirus pandemic around the world.
Lilly is offering donations of baricitinib to the Indian government through Direct Relief while simultaneously working with local Indian pharmaceutical companies to execute royalty-free voluntary licensing agreements to accelerate the manufacturing and distribution of the medicine in India during the pandemic. An initial donation of 400,000 baricitinib tablets is being made immediately available to the Indian government for eligible hospitalized COVID-19 patients in India and Lilly will work urgently to increase the quantity of donated product multifold over the coming weeks.
On Monday, Lilly received permission for restricted emergency use from Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, a division of Ministry of Health, for baricitinib (2 mg and 4 mg) in combination with remdesivir, for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Baricitinib is an oral medication currently registered in India for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients who have responded inadequately to, or who are intolerant to one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
"With the COVID-19 crisis devastating India, hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of cases and patients need access to potentially life-saving treatments such as baricitinib," said David A. Ricks, Lilly chairman and CEO. "We hope that our donations as well as collaborations with other organizations speed access to baricitinib and provide treatment options for these patients."