A new locally produced drug to treat Covid-19 symptoms has started to be distributed in India.
Authorities have given their approval for 2-DG, which will be used in hospitals throughout the capital, Delhi.
It “will be of great benefit to the people suffering” from Covid-19, according to a government statement.
Some opponents, however, argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the drug’s emergency approval as a Covid remedy.
The drug, known as 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG, was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Pharmaceuticals.
In a statement, the government said, “Clinical trial findings have shown that this molecule aids in the faster recovery of hospitalized patients and decreases supplementary oxygen dependency.”
However, health experts say the drug’s effectiveness is questioned due to a lack of reported evidence on its success in clinical trials.
They also point out that D2 was developed and tested for cancer treatment but has yet to be licensed, despite extensive use.
There is currently no remedy for Covid-19, and the drug used to alleviate symptoms is in short supply in India, which is experiencing a devastating second wave of the disease.
India is now the epicenter of the global pandemic, with over 24 million cases and 270,000 deaths.
The deadly second wave of the virus is wreaking havoc across most of India, with death tolls skyrocketing in recent weeks. Many hospitals have run out of beds or oxygen, making it impossible to provide basic care. Many crematoriums throughout the country are at capacity.
The country’s vaccination campaign is still falling short of what is needed to alleviate the current crisis.
According to the government, the medication can be used as an adjunct treatment in mild to serious cases.
It also mentions that “it can be easily manufactured and made available in plenty in the world” because of its simple makeup, raising hopes that it will eventually be widely used and alleviate the current Covid crisis.
“A substantial number of patients are in need of hospitalization due to heavy oxygen dependency. Because of the drug’s mechanism of action in infected cells, it is supposed to save many lives. Patients with Covid-19 spend less time in the hospital as a result of this “According to the press release.