May 20, 2021 8:07:38 pm
The Gujarat health department has notified a state-controlled distribution policy of anti-fungal drug Amphotericin-B, used to treat mucormycosis or black fungus, for private hospitals after the issue of shortage of the drug was taken up by the Gujarat High Court that sought a response from the state.
In a communication dated May 19 addressed to municipal commissioners, district collectors, administrators of district and government hospitals and civil surgeons, it was stated that due to a shortage of liposomal Amphotericin B injection in the market, which is causing distress to patients in private and government hospitals, a dsitribution policy was decided to ensure availability of the drug in private hospitals across the state at a reasonable price.
As per the policy, private hospitals can requisition liposomal Amphotericin B for treatment of patients admitted to private hospitals from eight hospitals at Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Surat at prices capped between Rs 4,792 and 6,247. These hospitals are SVP Hospital and Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) Sola in Ahmedabad, GMERS Gandhinagar, Sir T Hospital in Bhavnagar, PDU Hospital in Rajkot, GG Hospital in Jamnagar, SMIMER Hospital in Surat and SSG Hospital in Vadodara.
Private hospitals will have to submit details, including case history and doctor’s prescription, patient’s Aadhaar card copy, mucormycosis diagnosis copy and treating doctor’s recommendation letter. Supply and management of distribution of the drug to municipal corporation-run hospitals will be the responsibility of of the respective health department.
The eight hospitals have been directed to form an expert committee and assess the patients’ need and verify the documents. Once documents are verified, the Gujarat Medical Services Corporation Limited (GMSCL) will provide the drug to the private hospital on payment of the amount. Civil hospitals have been directed to maintain a separate register of stock and distribution of liposomal Amphotericin B on the distribution.
At present, six manufacturers are supplying liposomal Amphotericin B — Bharat Serum and Vaccine Ltd, Lyka Labs, BDR Pharmaceuticals, Encure Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma Distributor and Mylan Pharmaceuticals. The lyophilised form is being provided by only Lyka Labs while the emulsion form is being provided by only Bharat Serum and Vaccine Ltd.
In a communication dated May 19 by Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal to all states and principal health secretaries, a request was made to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Disease Act.
“You are requested to to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, wherein all government and private health facilities, and medical colleges will follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by MoHFW (GOI) and ICMR and make it mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to Health Department through district level Chief Medical Officer and subsequently to IDSP surveillance system,” the communication noted.
As of Thursday evening, Gujarat had not notified the fungal disease under the Act. Principal health secretary Jayanti Ravi was not available for comment. Haryana, Rajasthan and Telangana have so far declared mucormycosis as a notifiable disease.
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