Gurugram gathers details on Covid-19 medicines to prevent black-marketing
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (enforcement division) has already directed all state drug controllers to ensure remdesivir and other drugs are not sold in the black market.Updated: Jul 10, 2020 10:30 IST
In order to ensure sufficient stock and prevent black marketing, the district drug control department is seeking details from private hospitals in the city regarding the availability of approved Covid-19 medicines and injectables in their pharmacies. With major private hospitals fast running out of the injectable generic antiviral drug remdesivir, being administered on moderately ill patients, the department is now seeking details of the other two drugs — favipiravir and tocilizumab — used for treating the patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. While favipiravir is a pill-based drug, tocilizumab, on the other hand, is an injectable like remdesivir.
Amandeep Chauhan, district drug control officer said, “Hospitals have been directed to share the details of the Covid-19 drugs stock available in their pharmacies. Since tocilizumab is an expensive drug, with one vial of 400mg costing Rs 40,000, only selected big hospitals stock it. As per the data shared by the hospitals so far, there are currently only 10-12 vials in the city.”
Chauhan added, favipiravir is an oral drug which is the most widely used antiviral medicine for Covid-19 patients. “It is a 200mg tablet used to treat mild to moderate cases. Like in cases of remdesivir and tocilizumab, a written consent from the patient or his family member is taken before it is prescribed. Each strip has 35 tablets, which costs around Rs 3,500,” said Chauhan, mentioning that there are 400 strips currently available with three to four big private hospitals, where maximum Covid-19 patients are being treated.
According to him, the department is taking the details regarding the medicines to prevent its black-marketing. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (enforcement division) has already directed all state drug controllers to ensure remdesivir and other drugs are not sold in the black market. As reported by HT, city hospitals do not have enough stock of remdesivir. Hospitals are directly availing the drug from manufacturers. Currently, there are 25 vials of remdesivir available in the city with each vial costing about Rs 5,400.
“The data collected from Gurugram is being directly sent to the Haryana Drug Control office. If there is unavailability of stock or insufficient stock, our team is trying to arrange it,” said Chauhan.