Last Updated on September 27, 2020 by The Health Master
PUNE: Maharashtra State health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday issued a circular to all divisional commissioners, collectors and municipal chiefs calling for judicious use of the antiviral drug remdesivir during Covid-19.
“We have to understand that these injections have to be given with utmost care. Guidelines issued by the state task force should be followed by the medical fraternity,” Tope told TOI.
The state health minister said that while the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed Indian companies to manufacture and distribute remdesivir, the drug should not be used for every “walk-in patient”.
The circular, a copy of which is with TOI, also includes guidelines on use of steroids. “It is the duty of local authorities to ensure these guidelines are followed by the medical fraternity within their districts,” the minister said.
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Besides these orders, a special campaign will be launched against the black marketing of remdesivir in the state, Tope said, while adding that there is currently no shortage of the drug in Maharashtra.
He said the Food and Drug Administration will ensure strict monitoring of the supply coming into the districts. All prescriptions will also be logged into a system to keep up checks and balances.
“The FDA Maharashtra has to set up a strict monitoring system. Those found involved in black marketing should be strictly penalised. Every remdesivir injection that reaches the local authority or distributor should be tracked by the regulators and if there is malpractice, the distributor will also be penalised,” the minister said.
On reports of shortage, Tope said a few days ago, there was a problem with the remdesivir stock supplied by one pharma firm which had resulted in supply delays.
But he said everything was now “under control”. Subhash Salunke, the state’s technical advisor on Covid-19 and a public health expert, said the experimental drug’s use during Covid-19 has to be monitored.
“It is a drug that needs to be respected and used under expert supervision. It should not be administered at any stage,” Salunke said.