Dexamethasone is the first treatment to show life-saving promise for those very ill with Covid-19.
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is working to ensure it can manage demand for a generic anti-inflammatory drug that has been shown to improve survival in Covid-19 patients.
According to data released Tuesday by the University of Oxford, dexamethasone is the first treatment to show life-saving promise for those very ill with the disease.
Dexamethasone is used for severe asthma, allergies and when joints are painful and swollen. It is also used in autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus or more commonly in rheumatoid arthritis.
The study shows that, because of the effect dexamethasone has on inflammation and our immune systems, it can be useful in fighting off the worst effects of Covid-19.
“Aspen owns rights to this product and distributes both injectables and tablets containing dexamethasone in a number of countries,” says Aspen CFO Sean Capazorio. “We have looked at the short-term needs and we can provide 10 million tablets in the next three to four weeks through our German-based facility.”
He says that Aspen has the necessary capacity to ramp up production based on demand and outsourced tablet suppliers have indicated that they are also able to increase production if required.
“We have been in discussion with the government concerning the supply of the dexamethasone to South African patients and we have also been approached by heads of state of various African countries regarding dexamethasone,” Sean says.
He adds that Covid-19 has presented unprecedented challenges globally and Aspen employees have demonstrated extreme commitment and resilience during this time.
“Despite lockdown restrictions in many countries, our production teams have continued manufacturing product to ensure that we are able to meet the ongoing demands for priority medicines. Their selfless service to patients and to the group underscores the values that Aspen subscribes to as we strive to continually supply high-quality products to patients around the world at all times and, more particularly, as we contribute towards the fight against this pandemic.”