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Black fungus: Delhi government sets up expert panel to ‘streamline and systemize’ supply of Amphotericin-B

The Committee will meet twice daily to scrutinize the applications and the decisions of these meetings will be shared with stakeholders including the rationale in the case of rejections.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: May 19, 2021 12:37:14 pm
Amphotericin-B, an antifungal drug used in the treatment of mucormycosis or Black Fungus Infection is short in supply. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgya)

The Delhi government has appointed a four-member Technical Expert Committee to “streamline and systemize” the distribution of Amphotericin-B, an antifungal drug used in the treatment of mucormycosis or Black Fungus Infection, which is in short supply in the city.

All notified Covid hospitals requiring the drug for the treatment of Covid-19 patients will have to apply to this committee, and following approval, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) shall issue the drug to the representative of the hospital. indianexpress.com on May 16 had reported how pharmacies in the city are reporting unavailability of the drug while attendants of mucormycosis patients have been struggling to procure it after it has been prescribed to them.

A government order (GO) issued by Special Secretary Health and Family Welfare Raj Kumar stated that the Committee has been formed to “prevent the indiscriminate use of this injection and to establish a transparent, efficient and time-bound system of distribution of this drug to the needy and hospitalized Covid-19 on clinically approved evidence-based grounds and ethical principle of distributive justice across Delhi …”

The Committee will be chaired by Dr. M K Daga, pulmonologist at LNJP hospital; and Dr. Manisha Aggarwal (anesthetist), Dr. S Anuradha (medicine) and Dr. Ravi Mehar (ENT) all from Maulana Azad Medical College will be the other members.

According to the GO, the Committee will meet twice – in the morning and evening – daily to scrutinize the applications and the decisions of these meetings will be shared with stakeholders including the rationale in the case of rejections.

It also states that the DGHS “will ensure the issuance of drugs on [the] same day to the government and private hospital concerned”. The distribution will be done as long as the allocation made by the Central government remains, it added.

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