Tamil Nadu

Centre orders diversion of Remdesivir stocks to four States

The Tamil Nadu government has sought the intervention of the Union Health Minister to ensure an uninterrupted supply of Remdesivir, the anti-viral drug used in the treatment of COVID-19.

The decision follows an order issued by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (Enforcement Division) to six manufacturers of Remdesivir (Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Zydus Cadila, Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero and Mylan Laboratories) on the supply of the drug.

“In light of concerns over the availability of Remdesivir in major States dealing with COVID-19 cases, especially Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, you are requested to rush the stock to these States immediately and action taken in this regard should be intimated...,” Drugs Controller-General of India V.G. Somani said in the April 10 order.

Order placed

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said that though an order for 2 lakh doses of the drug had been placed through the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited, the vendors said they were under pressure to divert fresh stocks to the four States.

“We have stocks to manage the situation now. But the COVID-19 cases are increasing by the day... This anti-viral drug has proved to be effective among patients with moderate to severe illness requiring oxygen therapy. It reduces the duration of recovery and hospitalisation. Any shortage would not only affect the treatment protocol but would also encourage the drug to be sold at much higher prices in the black market,” he told The Hindu on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu is among the six States reporting a high number of cases. “We cannot afford any shortage of vaccines or anti-viral drugs. Adequate steps have been taken to control the spread and effectively treat the infected people. Only early intervention and preventive measures can avert a situation similar to the one prevailing in Maharashtra... I will be taking up the issue with the Union Health Minister...,” Mr. Vijayabaskar said.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 5:55:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-orders-diversion-of-remdesivir-stocks-to-four-states/article34331025.ece

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