The Karnataka drugs control department has posted assistant drugs controllers (ADCs) at every carry and forward (C&F) agent outlet to monitor remdesivir injection distribution amidst reports of rampant black-marketing.
The state government has now put in place a mechanism to supply and distribute this drug from the manufacturer to the end user as it observed a huge gap between the demand and the supply of remdesivir.
Officers of the rank of assistant commissioner, commercial taxes, are posted at every C&F agent along with the jurisdictional ADC to ensure transparency and accountability in the receipt and disbursement of remdesivir.
These officers will record the quantities received, vial batch number and arrival date at the C&F agent. This information is relayed to the nodal officer at the state drugs control department in Bengaluru.
Any violation of these guidelines issued under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and Section 4 of the Karnataka Epidemic Act 2O20 will attract penalty under relevant sections of these Acts and IPC, stated the government circular.
The allocation of remdesivir to districts is based on the actual number of vials received at the C&F agent on a given day. The complete supply and distribution logistics is handled by Karnataka State Corporation Limited (KSMSCL).
A fortnight ago, the state drugs control department set up a war room to monitor remdesivir supply and distribution with a 24/7 helpline to provide details on the hospital wise allocation.
Union government periodically earmarks remdesivir supply to each state. Based on the allocation fixed for Karnataka from seven companies: Cipla, Zydus, Hetero, Mylan, Dr Reddy’s, Syngene and Jubilant , a daily allotment is obtained from them. Each manufacturer has minimum one C&F agent in the state to dispatch the stocks.
Nodal officer Avinash Menon, additional commissioner of Commercial Taxes and assistant nodal officer Nishchith V.D joint controller, Accounts KSHIP, PWD now monitor the online distribution to ensure traceability and tracking to the last mile which enables hospitals to list out the patients requiring remdesivir and indent its request to the ADCs.
Government hospital heads and their pharmacists keep tabs supplies from their jurisdictional warehouse. Medical teams will return the used vials to pharmacists who in turn maintain the day-wise account with the patient details for future reference.
Until now the procedure was that indents from all the private hospitals under the jurisdiction of an ADC were collected at the state drugs controller’s war room. District wise allocation was done on a pro rata basis by the nodal officer in-charge of remdesivir at the war room. Similarly allocation within districts to hospitals were on pro rata basis based on indents submitted by the ADCs.
“It was observed that there were issues during distribution and allocation to patients, besides cases of illegal remdesivir sales, said Karnataka chief secretary P Ravi Kumar.
Government now mandates hospitals treating C-19 to register with Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, 2007. Hospitals should provide remdesivir quantity via an online application that permits maximum of six vials to be raised per patient. The requirement is forwarded to ADCs assigned to these hospitals.
ADCs need to be physically present at the distributor location to ensure remdesivir distribution is as per the nodal officer’s allocation. The hospitals receiving the vials will record the stocks onto the online portal and those failing to submit this information will not be eligible for future allocation, said the government.
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