Remdesivir to be supplied through drug control officials

Govt. issues SOP for private hospitals to address shortages

Published - April 27, 2021 01:22 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

People waiting in a long queue outside a medical shop, in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

People waiting in a long queue outside a medical shop, in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

To streamline the supply of Remdesivir, a vital drug in the treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 cases, the State government has passed an SOP (standard operating procedure) to route its supply through the Assistant Director (AD) of drug control in every district.

Visakhapatnam has been facing a severe shortage of Remdesivir for the past one week, and black marketers have been flourishing, during this period. The district is facing a shortage of at least 40%, says health officials.

The issue has been taken up with the Health Minister and the Principal Secretary, health, and it has been decided that from Monday all private hospitals that are registered under Category A and B for treating COVID-19 cases, will put up an indent for Remdesivir with the AD on a daily basis and the latter will consolidate the indents and forward it to the Director General (DG) of drug control at the end of the day, said Collector V. Vinay Chand.

The DG will place the demand with Hetero Drugs, the manufacturers, and the supply to the districts will be routed through the DG.

This is expected to solve the shortage in private hospitals while there is no such issue in the government hospitals, said Mr. Vinay Chand.

On the other hand, the unregistered hospitals that are treating COVID patients can approach the DMHO and get registered under any of the categories and then place their indent for the drug,” said Dr. P.V. Sudhakar, principal of Andhra Medical College.

The health officials are, however, apprehensive about the quantum of supply. As of now there is a demand for around 30,000 to 40,000 vials per day in the State, and the supply is around 15,000, said a senior official.

Not OP drug

Stating that Remdesivir cannot be bought over the counter, Dr. Balaraju, a senior pulmonologist, said, “Remdesivir cannot be administered at home or to patients under home isolation. It is not an OP (out-patient) drug.”

Remdesivir is given to the patients whose oxygen saturation drops below 95% and are hospitalised with symptoms of hypoxia or dyspnea or other complications. It is given to the patients with moderate to severe conditions under hospital environment, said Dr. Sudhakar.

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