Last Updated on August 26, 2021 by The Health Master
The Delhi drugs control department has issued an advisory asking all city pharmacies to have a buffer stock of medicines needed for treating Covid-19, associated fungal infection mucormycosis (black fungus) and multi-inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), in anticipation of another surge in Covid cases.
An expert panel, under the ministry of home affairs, has predicted a “third wave” in the country between September and October. If that happens, it would be Delhi’s fifth surge in Covid cases since the city’s first case was reported in March 2020.
Currently, Covid-19 cases are at an all-time low, with Delhi reporting just 17 cases and no new death on Monday, according to the state’s daily health bulletin.
The drugs control department advisory lists eight medicines of different doses, including the steroid dexamethasone, antiviral medicine remdesivir, immune modulator tocilizumab, and antifungal drugs amphotericin B and posaconazol.
“As you are aware, the sudden rise in the number of cases during the recent surge posed a significant challenge in ensuring timely access to essential drugs for Covid-19 and Covid-associated mucormycosis (CAM)… You are hereby advised … maintenance of inventories of sufficient quantities of the drugs used in the management of Covid-19, CAM, and multi inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C),” read the advisory issued by Atul Nasa, head, office of Delhi’s drugs control department.
The advisory to the drug manufacturer association and chemist association of Delhi further said, “You are further requested to advise them (the pharmacies) not to indulge in any unhealthy practice of withholding of stocks and overcharging for these items.”
There was a severe shortage of medicines such as remdesivir and tocilizumab as well as medical oxygen in April-May, during the second wave (fourth in Delhi) of Covid-19 in the country. Hospitals also started receiving a high number of cases of the rare and deadly fungal infection mucormycosis (black fungus) in (recovered) Covid-19 patients in mid-May leading to a severe shortage of the life-saving antifungal medicine Amphotericin B, which is usually available in the market only in very small quantities.
The situation had led to black-marketeers making a killing by offering to sell these medicines off the books, after hooking desperate patients and their kin online, and often supplying them with fake or bogus drugs in exchange for exorbitant amounts.