The Bombay high court bench of chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Tuesday ordered the Union government to check why the shortfall of Tocilizumab, an essential drug to treat Covid, continues to persist despite steps being taken to increase the production. The bench was also informed that there are over 6,339 active cases of Mucormycosis aka black funguses in the state.
The bench ordered the Union to ensure that the state gets at least 25% of the over 3 lakh vials of Amphotericin-B given the fact that one fourth cases in India are from Maharashtra.
The bench was seized with a PIL filed by advocate Sneha Marjadi highlighting the crisis arising out of Covid. On Tuesday, advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the bench that so far, the issue of scarcity of Remdesivir and oxygen doesn't persist. He further apprised the bench that there are 6,339 active cases in the state and over 412 persons have succumbed to the fungal disease.
The advocate general further informed the bench that the supply of Amphotericin-B, the essential drug to treat Black Fungus is presently not as per the demand and that by June 10 the state would receive 40,000 vials of the drug from a domestic manufacturer. He further submitted that the state has placed orders with 19 manufacturers across the globe for the supply of Amphotericin-B drug and by June end the state will get more than 3 lakh vials.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the Union told the bench that his clients would be in possession of over 3 lakh vials too. He said that the Union is giving fresh licences to other manufacturers for producing the drug.
Meanwhile, advocate Rajesh Inamdar, for one of the intervenors, told the bench that there is an acute shortage of Tocilizumab in the state. He said that the drug isn't available and despite this fact the doctors are prescribing it. In his affidavit, Inamdar cited several tweets posted on social media platform Twitter by citizens seeking Tocilizumab.
“I have mentioned a reason for this shortage and this could be the probable reason. But I don't want the media to note this reason as it might lead to panic,” Inamdar said.
The judges then ordered the Union government to look into the issue.