Apprise Centre about rising Mucormycosis cases, Amphotericin B shortage: Bombay HC tells Maha govt

Narsi BenwalUpdated: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 02:07 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court of Justices RV Ghuge and BU Debadwar on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to apprise the central government on the increasing number of mucormycosis cases in the state, and especially in the Marathawada region. The bench was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation on the COVID-19 crisis in Marathawada region.

The bench noted this after it was informed that while a mucormycosis patient requires about 4 to 5 doses of Amphotericin B per day, the patients in Marathawada region were being administered only about 1 or 2 doses because of acute shortage of the drug.

The bench was informed that till date 13428 vials of Amphotericin B was supplied to Marathawada region as against the requirement of 50,178 vials to treat active patients. The bench noted that there was a shortage of nearly 70 per cent of the drug, after it was informed that Marathawada had 1178 mucormycosis patients of which 669 patients are active cases. While 385 patients were cured of mucormycosis, 124 person lost their lives in Marathawada due to shortage of the drug.

Anil Singh, additional solicitor general of India appearing for the centre, informed the court that between May 11 and May 31 Maharashtra was allocated 68,660 vials from the total of 2.76 lakh vials available with the centre. Singh also informed the court that India expects a supply of 2.5 lakh vials in the month of June 2021 and said that apart from Haffkine Biopharma and a private pharmaceutical industry in Hyderabad, six other private pharma companies have been given permission to manufacture the drug. Singh also said that the companies have been instructed to increase the production.

Singh also told the court that alternate drugs like Posacanozole and Isavucanozole can be used to treat mucormycosis.

The bench then directed the government pleader to place a detailed chart before them indicating the number of patients under treatment, the number of patients recovered and the number of deaths. It also called for a chart indicating the supply of amphotericin B between 2 June till 9 June. The bench will again hear the matter on June 10.

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