More than 971 cases of this fungal infection have been reported in Tamil Nadu as on Sunday. A patient would require at least 40-50 vials of the antibiotic during the course of treatment. With private hospitals receiving at least 50-80 new cases every day, the 600 vials that are expected to reach here on Monday are not sufficient to meet the demand, said doctors.
“With the number of mucormycosis cases increasing in the State, these 600 vials would hardly help,” said Dr Mohan Kameshwaran, ENT specialist and member of mucormycosis task force.
He added that private hospitals do not have any supply, as TNMSC supplies only to government hospitals. When asked, State Drug Control officials said private hospitals that require the drug can apply to TNMSC with the patient details. The drug would be supplied by the Corporation and Drug Control officials, officials said.
Meanwhile, making use of the increasing demand, the medicine is not only sold in black market but other drugs with similar names are being sold at high price. “There are drugs with similar names that are being sold medicines to treat mucormycosis. People should refrain from trying any other treatments on their own,” said Drug Controller Dr K Sivabalan.
The State had sought 30,000 vials from the Centre, and Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to the Centre noting that mucormycosis cases were on the rise in the State. However, there has not been any response or allotment so far, he said.
“The pharmaceutical company that manufactures this medicine in the State will directly supply it to the Centre. So the TNMSC has to procure the drug on its own,” Dr Sivabalan added.