Black Fungus: Six pharma firms to ramp up drug production soon

Amid rising cases of Mucormycosis and demand for Amphotericin-B drug, the Union Health Ministry on Friday said the production capacity of six companies, which was extremely limited in April 2021, will cumulatively produce 1,63,752 vials. This will be further ramped up to 2,55,114 vials in the month of June 2021.

Apart from this, efforts are being made for supplementing the domestic availability of this antifungal drug through import. In May 2021, 3,63,000 vials of Amphotericin-B will be imported, thereby resulting in total availability in the country (inclusive of the domestic production) of 5,26752 vials.

In addition, 3,15,000 vials will be imported in June 2021. Hence, along with the domestic supply, the countrywide availability of Amphotericin-B will be enhanced to 5,70,114 vials in June 2021, said the ministry.

Moreover, five more manufacturers, who have been given the license to produce the antifungal drug within the country, will start producing 1,11,000 vials of Amphotericin-B per month from July.

“In the recent days, several States and UTs have reported an increasing number of patients suffering from Covid complications in the form of mucormycosis, popularly known as Black Fungus. There is also a reported shortage of Amphotericin-B, an antifungal drug used for treatment of the Black Fungus disease,’’ said the ministry. It has added that the Centre has also made effective efforts in supplementing the domestic availability through securing supply from global manufacturers.

Currently, there are five existing manufacturers of Amphotericin-B in the country and one importer including Bharat Serums & Vaccines Ltd, BDR Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharma Ltd, Cipla Ltd, Life Care Innovations and Mylan Labs (importer).

In addition, NATCO Pharmaceuticals, Hyderabad, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara, Gufic Biosciences Ltd, Gujarat, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Pune and Lyka in Gujarat have been given the license to produce the anti-fungal drug within the country.

Further, the ministry said it is also trying to procure other antifungal drugs which can be used in treatment of black fungus.

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