Five drug makers have received approval to produce Amphotericin-B, the drug used in the treatment of mucormycosis and whose shortage is the latest worry for India with an increase in the number of people contracting the rare fungal infection.
Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Natco Pharma, Gufic Biosciences, Alembic Pharmaceuticals and Lyca Pharmaceuticals have secured the new drug approval for producing it in the country. They got the approval within three days, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya said, assuring that the shortage of Amphotericin-B would get resolved soon.
These firms will join the existing six pharma companies, who have already started ramping up production of the drug for the infection. Indian companies have also placed orders for importing 6 lakh vials of Amphotericin-B, the Minister said.
Also known as “black fungus”, the rise in cases of the fungal infection has pushed up the demand for the drug that according to sources was thus far produced in limited quantities. Mr. Mandaviya said the “government is leaving no stone unturned to smoothen the situation”.
On Wednesday, he said Amphotericin B injection production was ramped up around three times in a month. A total of 3.80 lakh vials are in production and 3 lakh vials are being imported. A total of 6.80 lakh vials will be available in the country.
Several State governments, including Telangana, have already declared the black fungus infection as an epidemic, and towards ensuring availability to those in need and as a measure against black marketing and hoarding, announced that they would be regulating the allocation of the drugs.