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Now, life-saving injection to treat ‘black fungus’ out of stock in Lucknow

As cases of black fungal infection, a post-Covid complication, are being reported from all across Uttar Pradesh, including the state capital, the Liposomal Amphotericin B injection, used in treating the rare fungal infection is out of stock in the drug stores
By HT Correspondent, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAY 16, 2021 12:51 AM IST

As cases of black fungal infection, a post-Covid complication, are being reported from all across Uttar Pradesh, including the state capital, the Liposomal Amphotericin B injection, used in treating the rare fungal infection is out of stock in the drug stores.

Till the last week, one could easily find this injection in most of the prominent drug stores in Lucknow, but on Saturday, Liposomal Amphotericin B injection was not available even in a single drug store across the city.

It was out of stock even in the government drug store operating from the chief medical officer’s (CMO) office.

“Our CMO store does not have this injection,” said Dr Anup Srivastava, nodal office, CMO drug store.

The doctors say that the Black Fungus infection (Mucormycosis) could be life-threatening if not treated timely.

After the recent crisis of Remdesivir injection in Lucknow and the rest of the state, the shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B injection is a new challenge before the state government.

The Pharma industry is also grappling to tackle this new crisis. “Till the other day, everything was fine. There was no shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B injection. In the last three days all of a sudden the demand for this injection increased manifold and the drug went out of stock from all medical stores across the state,” said a senior official of Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited, company which manufacture the injection, pleading anonymity.

“The state government will have to distribute this injection like Remdesivir through the Red Cross or any other sources to check the crisis and prevent its black marketing,” added the official.

It was after the Red Cross society started distributing Remdesivir injection from its office that its crisis ended in Lucknow.

“We are providing Remdesivir injection to everyone whoever is approaching us. After fulfilling all formalities, including doctor’s prescription and patient’s aadhar card, injection is being provided to patient’s kin,” said Gaurav Maheshwari of Red Cross, Lucknow.

According to doctors, the maximum retail price of the Liposomal Amphotericin B injection is around 7000. The number of doses per patient varies from four-six injections per day depending on the patient’s weight. The complete course of the drug varies from 10 to 21 days depending on the patient’s condition.

Dr Usha Dubey, whose father Suresh Prasad Dubey is undergoing treatment at the Vivekanand Hospital, Lucknow, has developed the Black Fungus infection after he was admitted to the hospital’s ICU for treatment of Covid-19.

Dr Usha had to come down to Lucknow from Varanasi, where her husband lives, to attend her ailing father.

“For the last two days, we have been desperately searching for the Liposomal Amphotericin B injection. Right from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh, the injection is not available anywhere,” said Dr Usha.

“Alternate injections available in the market are also hard to find and they have a side effect on patient’s kidney,” she added.

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