FDA claims availability of 11,000 remdesivir vials in Pune; hospitals complain of shortage
Despite the city having at least 11,000 vials of remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment, hospitals are complaining of a shortage. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has said that the system of distribution is being improved and all hospitals have been asked to regularly update the stock so that the supply can be monitored.
The remdesivir injection is prescribed to critical Covid-19 patients.
According to assistant commissioner Dinesh Khivasara, there is a stock of remdesivir with hospitals as well as wholesale medical stores and dealers, who have been asked to provide it to doctors and patients.
“As of now, we have 4,000 vials of remdesivir with the hospitals and 7,000 to 8,000 with the stockists. There is absolutely no shortage of the drug and we are improving the system to monitor the supply. We have now asked the hospitals to send us a daily update of the stock that they have which we monitor daily. The demand has increased now,” said Khivasara.
SB Patil, joint commissioner (drugs), Pune division, FDA, said, “We are now asking the hospitals to send us a daily report of the stock that they have and have also asked them to keep a strict vigil on their staff. Based on the guidelines issued by the central health ministry, we have asked the hospitals to use the injection only for patients in moderate condition on oxygen.”
Earlier, the state government had asked hospitals to judiciously use oxygen and now they have extended the guidelines for remdesivir too.
However, hospitals have countered the FDA claim saying the injection is in short supply.
Dr HK Sale, executive director, Noble hospital, said, “Just three days ago despite paying the full advance payment for 600 vials, we got only 250 vials; that too in instalments. Despite repeatedly telling the FDA to look into it, the matter was not resolved finally after much follow up we got the vials all in one lot. This simply says that although there is no shortage, the fact remains that there is hoarding and the shortage is artificial.”
The FDA claim comes a day after Maharashtra government issued a circular to all the divisional commissioners in the state. The circular has asked the administration of each district to make judicious use of injection and for it to be given with utmost care. According to the state health department, the medicine cannot be used for every Covid patient.
Following the circular, the FDA has also started monitoring any black marketing of remdesivir in the city and other parts of Maharashtra.