SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir does not appear on the interim distribution list of Tocilizumab injections for states and union territories, despite relatives of COVID-19 patients reporting a shortage of key drugs like Remdesivir.
Remdesivir is primarily meant for moderately, severely ill Covid patients while tocilizumab is given to those who are severely, critically ill.
Despite officials’ claims that the main drugs are in sufficient supply, reports of their non-availability in Valley hospitals and pharmacies continue to flood in.
A doctor on the condition of anonymity told a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS) that there is already shortage of Tocilizumab and it was surprising that J-K does not figure in the interim allocation list.
“It seems that central government has not been conveyed about the demand of the Tocilizumab by the concerned authorities,” the doctor said and urged the concerned functionaries to express the concerns and ensure adequate supplies amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Both Remdesivir and Toclizumab have been found to be successful in several cases, according to a number of doctors working in COVID-19 designated facilities told a local news agency GNS. “We tried to avoid prescribing Remdesivir and Toclizumab injections but other drugs were not found as effective as these two are,” they said, adding, “We have raised the issue with the concerned authorities.”
According to the doctors, relatives of the patients have been claiming that it has been extremely difficult for them to obtain the medication from the market due to a shortage. Whether there is a shortage and whether such a condition is being generated by unscrupulous elements, they said, the government should investigate immediately and take appropriate action on both counts.
In light of the emerging Covid situation, the Drug Controller General of India has designated Remdesivir as an institutional supply only drug, and the GoI has set a weekly quota of 10,500 vials for J-K, according to officials.
However, doctors said that the quota may also be required to get enhanced in view of the emerging “grim situation.” (GNS)