Private hospitals in dire need of essential drugs

While a few hospitals claimed that they did not have stock of remdesivir, some others said that their existing stock will not last for more than two-three days.

Updated - April 25, 2021 09:52 am IST

Published - April 25, 2021 12:11 am IST - COIMBATORE

Remdesivir antiviral injectable drug.

Remdesivir antiviral injectable drug.

At a time when the COVID-19 situation escalating in the district, which reported an all-time high of 889 cases on Friday, private hospitals here say that there is an acute dearth of certain essential drugs, including remdesivir.

While a few hospitals claimed that they did not have stock of remdesivir, some others said that their existing stock will not last for more than two-three days. Hospitals have been widely using anti-viral drug remdesivir in patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.

“We don’t have its stock at all,” said the chairman of a private hospital in Coimbatore on Friday. According to him, the hospital had requirement of remdesivir for at least 100 patients as of Friday. “We are trying our best to source it,” he said.

A senior doctor in charge of administration in another private hospital said that it was having stock of remdesivir for maximum two days.

“Doctors have been advised to use remdesivir for the treatment of moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, considering the shortage of its supply. Antiviral drug favipiravir is used for mild cases, if required,” he said.

According to him, antivirals, steroids, antibiotics and anticoagulants are the four category of mainstay drugs that are widely used for treating COVID-19. Except remdesivir, supply of drugs in the other category are stable.

“We hear that the supply of remdesivir will be streamlined and stocks will be made available to all the required hospitals in four-five days,” he added.

“Our doctors have been using remdesivir to treat moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. They say that it made significant improvement in the condition of such patients. I got numerous calls from doctors from others States who wanted to know if we had enough stock of it. There is a shortage in the supply of anti-interleukin drugs which are also used to treat COVID-19 patients,” said the medical director of another private hospital, adding that it was having very limited stock of remdesivir.

The Tamil Nadu branch of Indian Medical Association said in a statement on Friday that there was increased need of essential drugs like injection remdesivir and low molecular weight heparin. It wanted the government to take over marketing of essential drugs and supply them to private healthcare facilities through the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation.

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