Stock up drugs to tackle next wave, health experts say

There are adequate stocks of Remdesivir but hospitals are running short of Tocilizumab (TCZ), a drug stated to reduce mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, “the supply of Remdesivir has become normal in the State.
Representative image
Representative image

Chennai

We don’t see any queue of people waiting to get the drug in any hospitals.  As  and  when  the  drug  comes,  we  distribute  it  on  a  regular  basis.  Meanwhile,  there  is  a  shortage  of  Amphotericin  B;  we  have ordered 35,000 vials since it is rationed through Government of India allocation.
”The demand for TCZ, an immunosuppressant administered to critically ill COVID patients,  has  been  on  the  rise  in  the  past  two  months. But the drug has been in short sup-ply in Tamil Nadu as it is centrally allocated.“We have TCZ shortage as it is not manufactured  in  India.
The  Central  government  allots stocks to the states. The State government  distributes  it  to  all  districts,”  said  K  Sivabalan, State Drugs Controller.Experts    said    the    State    government    should  plan  accordingly  to  face  the  third  COVID   wave,   expected   in   the   coming   months as these drug stocks won’t suffice.
Public health expert Dr K Kolandaisamy said, “the production of Remdesivir has increased  10  times.  The  cases  have  reduced  and the usage of the drug dropped. But the government should improve the availability  of  Amphotericin  B.
Government  hospitals   and   medical   colleges   have   enough   stocks but private hospitals don’t.”The government should list out the drugs used during the second wave, and ensure we have an adequate amount of required medicines to tackle the next wave, he added.

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