Remdesivir shortage hits corporate hospitals too

Remdesivir antiviral injectable drug. File   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Acute shortage of Remdesivir, a drug used in COVID-19 treatment, has hit private hospitals in Hyderabad. Major corporate hospitals too are experiencing the shortage. Heads of corporate hospitals are reaching out to their colleagues in other States and even counterparts in other facilities to arrange for doses.

Such is the shortage that people are pleading for it on social media platforms.

Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association members said they had the stock and sold it till the first week of April. However, officials from the State Drug Control Administration said the supply is sent directly to hospitals, and will not be sold at medical stores. “This is done to avoid black marketing of the medicine. And private hospitals should not prescribe it to patients in home isolation. If it is done, existing doses will be consumed leading to shortage for critical patients who really need the medicine,” senior officials of the association said. Instances of patients in home isolation being prescribed Remdesivir has come to notice of officials.

Earlier, it was thought that the shortage is limited only to nursing homes. Rahul Meddakar, COO of CARE Hospitals here, said they too are facing the shortage.

CEO of Aster Prime Hospital, Devanand T. has reached out to other corporate hospitals asking if they have doses of the medicines to spare. With no luck there, he is trying to get it from the hospital branches in other States through courier service.

President of the Chemists Association, Ch Janaradhan Rao has requested that cost of the drug to be brought under ‘price control’ since the price varies from ₹900 to over ₹4,000 depending on the manufacturer. “The price control will help patients get the medicine at affordable rates in these times,” Mr Janardhan said.

Supply to last 10 days

Senior officials of the Health department said they have 10,000 doses of Remdesivir and another 10,000 were expected on Wednesday.

K. Chandrasekhar Reddy, managing director of Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation, said 35,000 doses will be available on Thursday. “We will get two lakh doses after 10 days. It is being used only for critical patients. So it has to be judiciously used. Besides, we might get fresh stock in 7-10 days. So government hospitals might not have dearth of the medicine,” he added.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:20:18 AM |

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