In an attempt to prevent the black marketing of Tocilizumab, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Wednesday announced that the urban local body will now directly procure the immunosuppressant drug, used for critical Covid-19 patients, instead of relying solely on the state government.
At present the procurement and distribution channel of the drug involves Gujarat Medical Services Corporation Limited and the health department.
Deputy Municipal Commiss-ioner, who handles the health portfolio in the AMC, Om Prakash Machra, told The Indian Express that 250 vials of the drug has been procured and the move has come as an attempt to eliminate instances of black marketing and grey marketing of the drug.
This month, the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) of Gujarat busted two rackets which are allegedly involved in black marketing and spurious sale of Tocilizumab in Ahmedabad and Surat.
The drug will now be provided for free to AMC-referred patients.
Explaining the system put in place by the AMC, Machra said, “We have assigned an assistant professor for each zone. There is a 14 point criteria – 10 exclusion criteria and four inclusion criteria – to decide on whom the drug can be administered, based on clinical aspects of the patient. Whenever a patient hospitalised at a private hospital or the hospitals with which AMC has an MoU of requisition, is prescribed the drug, the request will be put forth to the zonal assistant professor officer. This will then be forwarded to the deputy municipal commissioner of health for approval.”
“For AMC-referred patients, the drug will be provided free of cost. For others, the drug will be provided by AMC on a replacement basis, wherein once the drug is used, the hospital has to replace it by providing AMC back with the drug and if that is not possible, they will have to pay the amount at which the drug was provided to them. Moreover we have made a system where they have to provide us with pictures as proof of administering the drug and also return the empty vials back to us,” Machra added.
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