Bajaj Healthcare (BHL) stock rose 6.32% with the authorization by India’s drug regulator to produce and commercialize lvejaj, a branded version of the generic antiparasitic drug ivermectin approved for treating COVID-19 on May 6, 2021. Ivermectin was authorized in India because with over 50 clinical trials and observational studies showing positive results as well as widespread usage in the country to manage the pandemic, the authorities were ready to acknowledge the reality that the product is helping mitigate even more damages from the pandemic. The drug initially discovered in Japan is used widely around the world despite recalcitrant resistance to a holistic acknowledgement of the evidence from Western research institutes, regulators, and even the World Health Organization (WHO). Bajaj Healthcare isn’t the first of commercial pharmaceutical companies to move into the space as a company in France (MedinCell) as well as firm from Bulgaria (HuvePharma) also produce versions of the drug targeting COVID-19. Several countries have authorized the use of ivermectin targeting COVID-19, such as in Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. TrialSite has been the leading media platform to objectively chronicle the accumulation of ivermectin-based studies around the world during the pandemic.
The BHL news was reported around India but not much elsewhere as Western press are under order to blackout ivermectin news unless it’s neutral to negative. TrialSite has considerable information that a concerted effort to taint the use of ivermectin, a safe profiled drug if administered to indication and within U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established dosages. While large pharmaceutical companies have received billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies in the United States to produce various monoclonal antibodies and antivirals (e.g. remdesivir, etc.), focus on low cost, generic repurposed drugs from ivermectin to fluvoxamine and colchicine have been last on the list of investments.
Of course, in America and parts of Europe, the drug is prescribed by some physicians off label but medical boards and research institutes have argued that the current ivermectin trials lack sufficient quality data, due to a number of allegations, from lack of statistical power to uniformity of study design to any number of other (what could be considered) dubious claims. However, numerous clinical trials and some prominent meta-analysis from groups such as the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) panel or the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) counter more than enough evidence generated from these studies.
In America, the U.S. FDA has cautioned against the use of Ivermectin and TrialSite showcased how the arguments seemed weak, not quantified and generally published as more of a deterrence. In the meantime, law firms are involved in litigation as family members of parents in ICUs, for example, request ivermectin and are repeatedly denied. Hence firms such as those of Ralph Lorigo have stepped in to fight for patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a deep problem in the health system, including centralization of government controls over research as has been the case with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and programs such as the private-public Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program, which has overwhelmingly favored vaccines and novel therapeutics that are expensive and often take years to develop.
Although TrialSite did report on it, it was said by well-placed insiders that the ACTIV-6 program will include ivermectin and fluvoxamine as the institute has felt growing pressure to test the drug—despite its inclination not to.
About Bajaj Healthcare
Publicly traded Bajaj Healthcare is a bulk drug producer founded in 1993. The company serves numerous pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food industry players and has grown into focusing on specialty development, manufacturing, and supplies of inputs from amino acids and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to nutraceutical and food products. The company became public in 2005 and listed its shares in the Indian stock exchange in 2016. They are based in Thane with a state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Maharashtra and Gujarat state. Note that the Indian regulator has authorized Bajaj Healthcare to supply the ivermectin-based product to Indian and oversea markets, opening up a big opportunity for the company, reports India’s Business Standard. Investors should be aware of this situation.
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