By Owasim Uddin Bhuyan
The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has collected ‘Remdesivir’ and ‘Remivir’ recently produced medicines in Bangladesh for treatment of COVID-19 disease.
Nigeria, the West African country, collected the medicines from Bangladesh on an emergency basis by sending a chartered flight on Sunday, according to Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The medicine was supposed to be used for the treatment of a governor of Nigeria who was recently tested COVID-19 positive, said officials in Dhaka.
Nigerian Foreign MinisterGeoffrey Onyeama had phoned Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dr AK Abdul Momen, on June 6 night and requested him for all-out cooperation for allowing the landing of the special flight at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
MoFA press release said that the Nigerian special fight which started from its capital Abuja and had a stopover at Jeddah and landed in Dhaka Airport at 5 PM local time on Sunday.
After collecting ‘Remdesivir’ and ‘Remivir’ medicines, some PPEs and other medical equipment, the chartered flight had immediately left Dhaka for Nigeria, said MoFA officials.
They informed that Nigeria had been keen to import more medicines and medical equipment from Bangladesh in coming days based on the effectiveness of COVID medicines.
Bangladesh garment marketing company ‘Bhuiya International’s chief executive Kabir Ahmed Bhuiyan provided medical equipment to the Nigerian government, said MoFA.
Eskayef first produces Remdesivir in Bangladesh
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, one of the leading drug manufacturing companies in Bangladesh has successfully produced Remdesivir, the drug used to treat coronavirus.
All procedures for production have been completed and preparations have begun from the first week of May for distribution of the drug, according to a media report.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Eskayef, Simeen Hossain, told Bangladesh Newspaper The Daily Star that at this crucial time in the country, ‘we are happy to give the people the good news that we have successfully completed all the steps in the manufacturing of Remdesivir, globally recognised as the only effective drug against coronavirus.’
This drug, manufactured by US company Gilead Sciences Inc, has created a sensation all over the world. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Remdesivir as a drug against coronavirus. The drug administration in Japan gave its permission on May 7 to use this drug on coronavirus patients.
Remdesivir so far has been proven to be the most effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or Covid-19. Experiments carried out by Gilead have indicated improvements in the conditions of the patients who have been treated with this drug.
The drug is to be administered intravenously. The dosage depends on the condition of the patient. Severely affected patients may need to be treated with the drug for 5 to 10 days.
Gilead has the patent for the manufacture of Remdesivir, but in accordance with international trade laws, countries like Bangladesh, recognised by the UN as lesser developed countries, are not restricted by the patent. As a result, these countries can produce the drug at a reasonable cost. The drug, however, will not be released in the open market for the time being. It will be provided to the government-approved hospitals for coronavirus treatment.
In a discussion at the White House, the top US immunologist and director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD), Anthony Fauci, said that it was evident that Remdesivir had a positive influence on the speedy recovery from coronavirus. He said as there was clear evidence that this drug was effective, there was a moral obligation to inform the public about this.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a part of the Transcom Ltd headed by Bangladesh’s renowned businessman Latifur Rahman, has been manufacturing quality drugs for the past 30 years. Eskayef exports its medicines to 30 countries in the four continents – Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.