Roche donates 50,000 vials of tocilizumab to India

Roche donates 50,000 vials of tocilizumab to India
Roche India has donated fifty thousand vials of tocilizumab (Actemra) 80 mg worth INR 40+ crores to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India to help patients during the pandemic, the company said in a statement.

Tocilizumab, is an immunosuppressive drug, mainly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a severe form of arthritis in children. It is a humanised monoclonal antibody against the interleukin-6 receptor. Recently, tocilizumab (single IV dose of 8 mg/kg, up to 800 mg) in combination with dexamethasone has been recommended to be used in hospitalised patients who are exhibiting rapid respiratory decompensation caused by COVID-19, according to the NIH guidelines.

“In these unparalleled times of crisis, Roche is doing everything we can to deliver life-saving medications to patients in India. We are hopeful that this donation will strengthen the nation’s ongoing efforts to fight the pandemic through enhanced access to tocilizumab. We are extremely thankful to the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Niti Aayog for their collaboration”, said V. Simpson Emmanuel, Managing Director, Roche Pharma India.

Roche is working to increase manufacturing capacity and supply by ramping up its own production network, as well as actively collaborating with external partners to maximize production of tocilizumab wherever possible with the goal of increasing its availability.