Pune: Shortage of Remdesivir in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients

ST Staff
Friday, 3 July 2020

Remdesivir’, one of the most effective medicine to treat critically ill patients affected by COVID-19, has run out of stock in hospitals

Pune: ‘Remdesivir’, one of the most effective medicine to treat critically ill patients affected by COVID-19, has run out of stock in hospitals. The private hospitals in the city are having just 5 per cent of the total required stock of these injection vials. Doctors have expressed their concern over unavailability of this medicine and appealed to government authorities to ensure that the supply is restored.

Various hospitals in the city have 350 critically ill Covid-19 affected patients. These patients are waiting for a dose of Remdesivir injection. Shortage of Remdesivir is causing a delay in the treatment of these patients. Neither the local administration nor the state government has ordered the procurement of these injections as of now. Private hospitals are keen to purchase injection vials of Remdesivir but are finding it difficult to procure enough stock. A major private hospital in the city had ordered for 100 vials but they received only 5.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Remdesivir to be used to treat Covid-19 patients. After the approval, doctors have started using this injection to treat critically ill COVID patients. Remdesivir is proving effective since it is administered through veins and has a better recovery rate as compared to the medicines in forms of capsules. Remdesivir’s impact on Indian patients will be studied for the next two months.

Pune city gets its Remdesivir medicine supply from two pharmaceutical companies – Cipla Limited and Hetero Drugs Limited. Presently, Remdesivir stock is depleted in the Pune market. New supply will be done in the next couple of days.

S B Patil, Joint Commissioner, Food and Drugs Administration said, “We have given instructions to keep a close watch on the purchase and sales of Remdesivir injections. This medicine will be sold only to the hospitals. It won’t be allowed to be sold elsewhere. Our teams will make sure that its sale does not happen out of hospitals.”

“Remdesivir testing requires 14 days period. The next batch will be ready by July 5 or 6 after which it will be available for hospitals in Pune city,” Patil said.

Dr Kapil Zirpe, Intensivist at Ruby Hall Clinic said, “Remdesivir injection should be administered to the patient only on the advice of an intensivist or epidemiologist. If it is given to the right patient, the outcome will be best and a shortage of medicine will also be prevented.”

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