Centre should form national policy for Covid vax imports: Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday urged the Centre to formulate a national policy for importing vaccines, increase the quota for black fungus (mucormycosis) medicine for the state and reduce the price on this drug.

At the virtual meeting with the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Tope also demanded that the Centre should provide 20-22 lakh vaccine doses to complete the vaccination of second dose for citizens above 45 years. He suggested the Centre needs to properly plan to meet the requirement of vaccine doses by the state.

“Currently, citizens above the age of 45 are vaccinated through the National Immunisation Programme. The Central government should immediately provide 20 lakh doses to the state,” said Tope.

On the issue of import of vaccines, Tope said the states will benefit if the Centre craft a national policy. This is necessitated as the global tenders are currently issued by other states. “However, states are being offered different rates by foreign vaccine manufacturers. Therefore, to avoid competition among the states, the central government should formulate a national policy,” he added.

In Maharashtra, Tope said there are about 1500 cases of black fungus (Mucormycosis) and the number is increasing.

“After corona, the number of patients with this disease is increasing due to uncontrolled diabetes and weakened immune system. The cost of injections for the treatment is high and the MRP printed on the drug should be reduced to curb the spurt in mucormycosis. The quota for this drug should be increased for Maharashtra,” said Tope. He urged the Union minister to direct the manufacturers to cap the prices.

Tope appealed to Dr Vardhan to ask Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to give approval to the six companies who have responded to the global tender for the purchase of 3 lakh Remdesivir vials.

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