The Covid-19 patients in Mumbai will have to wait till August 28 for the Tocilizumab (400 mg) injection as it is out of stock. The Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has communicated to the hospital that “the 400 mg Tocilizumab vial is out of stock and it will be available only on August 28.”
Tocilizumab, a monoclonal antibody, has been proposed to mitigate the cytokine storm syndrome associated with severe COVID-19.
Apart from Tocilizumab, there is demand for Remdesivir vial to treat Covid-19 patients. Both these injections are investigatory therapies.
An FDA officer told FPJ that along with the Mumbai Police, they have formed squads to keep vigil against the black marketing of Tocilizumab and Remdesivir in the city. The squads will take action against those selling these vials at inflated prices and also without original copy of doctor’s prescription, Covid 19 patient’s test report and Aadhar card. “Recently, these squads had nabbed few people who were involved in the black marketing of these two vials. Due to FDA’s intervention and the availability, the prices have come down against higher prices which were prevalent last month,’’ said the officer.
The officer reminded that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have asked states to use Remdesivir and Tocilizumab on Covid-19 patients strictly as per the laid down protocol. They have warned that the indiscriminate use or use in conditions for Remdesivir and Tocilizumab which they are not desirable may cause more harm than good.