Indore: Insulin, the lifeline for many Type 2 diabetic patients, is in short supply in the city thanks to the effects of lockdown. Naturally, those who need insulin daily are rushing to Dawa Bazaar to stock up on insulin, which unfortunately is fuelling the shortage.
Though chemists and wholesale vendors at Dawa Bazar have stocked up medicines and are providing insulin to all the patients, it is taking a couple of days to meet their needs. For a diabetes patient, surviving even one day without medicine is next to impossible.
The chemists and wholesalers have squarely blamed the district administration for the shortage arguing that officials have failed to provide the necessary security and clearance as a result of which the vital supply chain of medicines has broken down. Doctors and health experts fear that high blood sugar levels due to lack of medicines and insulin can cost lives and the administration has to restore the supply chain to increase availability.
Diabetes patient more prone to COVID-19
“This has been a really difficult phase for diabetes patients as there is a shortage of insulin in the city. Even hospitals are unable to procure insulin for patients easily. Wholesalers are also not able to get the requisite stock of medicines.
We are asking patients to go to the store and send us available options. We are checking compositions and suggesting the best alternative for them. However, this cannot go on for long as even substitutes are running low now.
Diabetes patients are more prone to COVID-19 infection, hence, people are worried and trying to stock up medicines to keep their sugar level in check.
On the plus side, about 20 per cent diabetes patients have improved their sugar control and their dosage has come down. This has happened because of the switch to a staple diet and control on fast foods and sugary treats.”
- Dr Abhyudaya Verma, Endocrinologist
Production & Supply affected
“We open the store at 6:30 am and close down at 1 pm. There is a shortage of medicines especially for life-long ailments like diabetes and hypertension. The basic problem is a slowdown and even shutdown of production houses.
Many pharmacy companies are not able to produce medicines due to shortage of raw material, as it is imported and lack of workers. Further, transportation for insulin is an issue as it comes in cold chain only. Further, 70 per cent of the drugs are imported from China, which has stopped.
The major problem is that patients are scared to switch to alternatives and 60 per cent doctors are not providing phone consultancy to help them select substitutes.”
- Yash Rajoria, Chemist in Dawa Bazar
Bulk buying & risk of getting infected
“The major problem that results in quick shortages is stock buying. Customers are buying medicine for months citing a likely extension of the lockdown in city due to the rising number of COVID-19 patient .
We don’t have staff and running a medical store requires meticulous workers. We are somehow managing to open and providing medicines, but customers do not follow basic social distancing norms.
With the recent demise of two store owners of Dawa Bazar, most people are scared to even open the store and risk getting infected.
Due to bulk buying, the stock quickly finishes in the market and then ordering and arranging stock takes time. We don’t have any support and security from district administration, which is a major issue.”
- Dharmendra Kothari, Chemist in Dawa Bazar
Lack of insulin risks survival
“I need insulin before meal. I am feeling glad that I had at least a month’s stock of insulin. Many of my colleagues are struggling to find the medicine now.
The situation is still scary because if the lockdown extends and the supply remains restricted, a lot of us will suffer. I am disappointed in the administration’s lack of empathy for people. Medicine is essential for survival for many of us today!”
- Rajendra Singh, Banker
“I was recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. I was worried when the lockdown was announced. I bought some stock initially. However, even buying medicines right now is a struggle.
Most retailers and wholesalers in Dawa Bazar are running out of stock of medicines. On the plus side, during lockdown, my sugar control has improved. The dosage of insulin has come down, so I was saved from the hassle of running to the market.”
- Shankar Kishan, Businessman