A viral message claiming Livfavir a branded variant of the generic Favipiravir, manufactured by Livealth Biopharma is cheaper than Glenmark Pharmaceuticals' branded drug Fabiflu, is misleading.
Favipiravir, a generic antiviral that is said to have worked against COVID-19 was launched by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on June 20 under the brand name 'Fabiflu'. Fabiflu has been hotly debated on social media as the company published results but has not shared the data or methodology of the study.
The viral message claims that while Fabiflu is priced at Rs. 103 per tablet; Livfavir is being sold at Rs.20 per tablet.
BOOM reached out to Sanjay Patil, the director of Livealth Biopharma who clarified that the firm has withdrawn this product and are not planning to produce it in the future.
"This is a fake message. It was a marketing error. We were supposed to write Rs.200 per tablet and had received permissions for the product. We, are however not planning to launch or sell this product now or in the future and have pulled out all the advertisements."
The claim is viral across all social media platforms. The message also talks about Avigan. Avigan manufactured by Japanese firm Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, is a branded medicine of the same drug - Favipiravir. Japan has been using Avigan for treating influenza.
*AN EYE OPENER*— 'Raja Raja' Unicuesrini1 (@universesrini) June 23, 2020
Fabiflu 200 mg. has been priced at Rs.103 per tablet by Glenmark. After my inquest, I found, already there exists a brand of Favipiravir in the Indian market with the brand name 'LIVFAVIR' marketed by a Mumbai based company Livealth Biopharma Private Limited --- pic.twitter.com/IcIRpsNeAz
The post is also viral on Facebook.
Livealth Biopharma took to Twitter as well as its Google updates to state that this message is fake.
There is One Rumor circulating on Whatsapp linking our company Livealth Biopharma Pvt Ltd marketing product similar to "Favipiravir" of "Glenmark".— Livealth Biopharma Pvt Ltd (@livealth) June 24, 2020
We are not marketing any such product and have already withdrawn our product "Livfavir" which created this misunderstanding.
The drugmaker also emphasised that their turnovers were being exaggerated in the market. They revealed that their turnover is Rs. 10 crore and not Rs.120 crore as the message claims.The pharmaceutical has withdrawn all marketing material while stating that they will not be launching any such product in the market.
BOOM also checked online pharmacies such as Indiamart, Medlife, Pharmeasy but did not find 'Livfavir' in any of their product listings.
BOOM also could not find an any evidence supporting the other claim that Favipiravir/ Avigan is available for Rs 160 for 10 tablets in the country as claimed in the message. None of the online pharmacies listed Avigan in their products.
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