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West Bengal: Pharma companies told to sell Remdesivir to only Covid hospitals

The notice further said the revised guideline would also apply to tocilizumab and other medicines used “for the treatment of Covid.”

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
May 15, 2021 5:46:50 am
Remdesivir blackmarketing BengaluruThe drug Remdesivir is considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against COVID-19 and is, therefore, in huge demand. (File Photo)

Facing acute shortage for Remdesivir, the state government on Friday directed pharmaceutical companies to sell the drug to only Covid-19 hospitals in proportionate to their critical care unit (CCU) beds.

“The allocation of the drugs to various private covid hospitals/nursing homes, the companies shall allocate this drug on the basis of CCU bed strength and rate of occupancy of CCU beds of that hospital. This drug will be sold by the companies only to the Covid hospitals/nursing homes and will not be sold to the individual patient against any doctor/hospital prescription,” according a government statement.

The notice further said the revised guideline would also apply to tocilizumab and other medicines used “for the treatment of Covid.”

Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said, “People are not following the rules when there is a scarcity of medicines. Each now has to follow a system. In many hospitals, specially in small private ones, these drugs are rampantly prescribed without maintaining the state protocol. Side-effects of over-prescription have not been considered in many cases.”

“Since the drug is costly, people generally think that this is the best. To stop black marketing, we have issued an advisory,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state recorded 20,846 Covid cases and 136 deaths in the last 24 hours. With this, the total caseload rose to 10,94,802 and toll to 12,993. As many 19,131 people were discharged while active cases increased to 1,31,792. The recovery rate jumped to 86.78 per cent.

A total 70,051 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 1,13,09,467.

Of the fresh cases, Kolkata and its adjacent four districts continued to report a major share in the caseload. North 24 Parganas recorded the highest cases at 4,197, followed by Kolkata’s 3,955, Howrah’s 1,266, Hooghly’s 1,251 and South 24 Parganas’s 1,225 .

Other than these districts in south Bengal, 1,025 people tested positive in Nadia, 993 in Purba Medinipur, 941 in Paschim Burdwan and 842 in Birbhum. In north Bengal, Darjeeling recorded 665 cases and Kalimpong 75.

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