Delhi High Court asks Centre to submit report on availability of black fungus drug

Bench also seeks details of imports, outstanding supplies and domestic production

Published - July 08, 2021 02:19 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to submit a status report on availability of Liposomal Amphotericin B, used for treating patients of black fungus, which primarily affects those who have recovered from COVID-19.

A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh asked the Centre to also indicate the quantities of the drug imported and the outstanding supplies and also its domestic production.

The court was informed that there was no shortage of the drug as of now as the number of patients had gone down.

“If we are preparing for the third wave of COVID-19, we need to see the arrangement for it,” the Bench said.

The court was informed by the Centre’s counsel that presently there are 17,000 cases of black fungus in the country, which have come down from 23,000-24,000.

In May, the High Court had allowed duty-free import of Amphotericin B till the Central government took a final decision on waiving the customs and other duties on the drug. The court had also asked the Centre to come out with a policy on distribution of Amphotericin B due to its current scarcity.

The court was informed that the criteria for prioritising patients for administering Liposomal Amphotericin B for treating mucormycosis (Black Fungus) was young patients and those in whom surgical debridement is not possible or incomplete.

The issue of shortage of the medicine for treating black fungus was raised by advocate Rakesh Malhotra in his petition on the management of COVID-19 pandemic in the capital.

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