Delhi dengue
[REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE] After Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi, the dengue outbreak has engulfed West Bengal with 13 deaths having been reported due to the viral disease Pictured:A worker fumigates a residential area to prevent the spread of dengue, a mosquito-transmitted virus that causes a fever which can be deadly. [Representational Image]Reuters

The number of dengue cases may be rising fast across the country, but the deadly fever has offered a big opportunity to Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical firm Micro Labs.

The company saw 2 lakh units of Caripill--a drug which increases blood platelet count--already being sold out.

Besides, Micro Labs has obtained supply enquiries for the drug from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. The company began marketing the drug in July and now plans to launch syrup for children in the near future.

The company said that the drug was tested on 250 patients and none of them required platelet transfusion. Platelet transfusion in dengue cases costs between Rs 11,000 and Rs 20,000 and a patient needs it if the count falls below 30,000 per microlitre.

Caripill is priced at Rs 375 a unit containing 15 tablets and it is mainly marketed in Delhi national capital region (NCR), Maharashtra and south Indian states, where the dengue cases are on the rise.

"We are working towards securing a certificate of pharmaceutical product by the Drug Controller General of India. But at this stage, it is not mandatory for Caripill," Prabhu Kasture, senior medical advisor at the company, told Business Standard.

The herbal extract-based drug has already got a nod from the Ministry of AYUSH, said Kasture.

Currently, the company is working towards getting clearance from authorities in Indonesia and Malaysia to export the medicine, he added.

Micro Labs claims that Caripill, which is prepared from papaya leaf extracts, will not have any side effects. The drug can be used by any person with over 18 years of age but should be prescribed by a qualified physician.

"In two weeks, a syrup from the same extract will be launched and it can be consumed by children," Kasture said.

NCR has seen a sharp rise in dengue cases recently, with nearly 1,900 patients confirmed to have affected with the fever.

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