Several Pune hospitals have reported that there is a dearth in supply of remdesivir, an antiviral drug that fights against the COVID-19. On Wednesday, September 16, the KEM hospital struggled to get hold of remdesivir for a critical patient. Even the Noble hospital said that they paid for a stock of the drug, but there is a delay in delivery.
Even the Bharati Hospital admitted about the shortage. The Rao Nursing Home said that they got a curtailed amount against the required stock.
While Symbiosis hospital CEO Dr Vijay Natarajan assured that they had some stock of the vials while mentioning that the hospitals should adhere to Covid-19 task force guidelines before they give remdesivir.
"There has been a rampant misuse of this antiviral drug. This is indicated basically for a patient who progresses towards a requirement of more than four litres of oxygen. There are cases that have come to the fore when patients start demanding as referring doctors have prescribed the injection," Dr Natarajan said.
According to officials, Pune, on an average, need a minimum supply of 25,000 vials of remdesivir per month and the situation would retain normalcy in the next five days.
Civic authorities confirmed that recently the standing committee approved a proposal to acquire 1,000 vials of remdesivir and they would receive the stock for civic-run healthcare facilities in the next two to three days.
As the stocks are just dying out, some of the hospital authorities also asked the relatives of the critical patients to help them in procuring vials of remdesivir.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Joint Commissioner (Drugs) Pune Division S B Patil said that the demand for the drug that has some impacts on Covid-19 is increasing. "We are receiving calls from Nanded and other places whether the drug was available in Pune and there were some issues in the supply chain," Patil added. "There are 400 vials of remdesivir at present and in the next two days the stock is expected to increase to 2,800 vials," Patil said.
It is also evident that there is a demand for the drug is in Nepal and South Africa, where a sizable number of vials have been exported. "All this has led to a temporary reworking of the supply mechanics and also enhancing production due to the increased demand," a top official said.
While Pune is the worst hit of the virus, the number of COVID cases is high, the shortage of the antiviral drug is causing the chaos.