Delhi govt sets up panel to monitor use of tocilizumab
- The order also states that the drug will be distributed in this manner till stock remains; no waiting list shall be maintained.
The Delhi government has set up a three-member technical expert committee to ensure that the immune-modulator medicine tocilizumab, used to control the hyperactive immune response in the later stages of severe Covid-19, is not indiscriminately used.
The committee consists of three doctors from the departments of pulmonology, anaesthesiology, and medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College (attached to Delhi government’s Lok Nayak hospital).
“To prevent indiscriminate use of this injection (tocilizumab) and to establish a transparent, efficient, and time-bound system of distribution on clinically approved evidence-based grounds, the competent authority has approved the constitution of a three-member technical expert committee,” reads the order by special secretary (health) Raj Kumar.
To get the medicine, hospitals — government and private — have to apply to the technical expert committee, which will meet twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, to take decision on the requests. If a request is refused, the reason will be conveyed to the hospital by email.
On recommendation of the committee, tocilizumab will be issued by the DGHS to the hospital representative, on payment for the same for the private ones. The DGHS has been directed to ensure that the drug is issued on the same day. It will be the responsibility of the hospital to ensure that there is no pilferage, as per the order.
The order also states that the drug will be distributed in this manner till stock remains; no waiting list shall be maintained. Fresh applications will be called in when the next stock arrives.
State health minister Satyendar Jain added, “For remdesivir and tocilizumab, all the management and control is in the hands of the central government which is supplied to the hospitals through a website managed by the centre... So, we have passed the order and formed the expert committee to streamline the supply effectively and mobilise it.” The government has an online portal from where hospitals can requisition it after submitting the patient’s details.