Finite stock of medicines leave haemophilia patients high and dry

Published: 29th August 2016 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2016 04:25 AM   |  A+A-

VISAKHAPATNAM: LACK of blood clotting factors (coagulant) and injections for transfusion at the King George Hospital (KGH) has left haemophilia patients high and dry.

According to hospital authorities, it has now only 10,000 vaccines available which would last for three to six months where the actual requirement is estimated to be about 1 crore injections per annum.

The hospital receives around 100 patients per month from the three North Coastal Andhra districts and at present, around 200 patients are undergoing treatment.

After the supply of medicines stopped six months ago, the KGH got the new stock some two months ago which is inadequate. Depending upon the requirement, each patient is administered three vaccines a day. Lack of sufficient medicines is forcing the hospital to refer the patients to Kakinada, Guntur and Vijaywada.

No special ward

With no department taking up plans to set up a special ward for the Haemophilia patients, the paediatric ward of the KGH has set up a wing one and a half years ago to accommodate the patients.

"This is an erratic and limited budget situation. We are told to procure medicines for Haemophilia patients from the general budget, but the  availability of funds is limited," said P Venu Gopal, Prof of Paediatrics in Andhra Medical College.

"There should be an uninterrupted supply of medicines. Now, we have 200 patients and at least two cases are reported daily from Vizag, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Berhampur (in Odisha)," he added.

The supply of coagulant factors has ramined a nagging issue for the hospital. Earlier, it used to procure from a private company for a year at a low cost, but after there was no supply for six months, the supplier was changed to Reliance company.

Cost factor

"Still, the supply is limited. The injections are required depending on the severity of bleeding.

A month before the injections are exhausted, we make the intend. We repeatedly asked the officials to make this a part of the Arogyasri scheme, so far the cost is concerned," Venu Gopal told Express.

"We have taken the issue to the notice of health minister, chief minister too. But, no steps have been taken to sanction funds for the KGH to procure the coagulant factors," said V Chandra Sekharan, president of the Haemophilia Society of India, Vizag chapter.

He said that there is good supply of medicines in Kakinada, Vijaywada and Guntur.

Patients from here go to other places for injections.

"In every 5,000 people, there is one haemophilic patient. When the medicines are allotted under the general budget, how can the supply be sufficient?" he questioned.

"It's been two months since the medicine availability is low. Most of the patients factor VIII, A few take factor VII which costs about `40,000 outside. Before approaching the KGH, we buy medicines from the World Federation of Haemophilia, Canada, and Haemophilia Federation of India, Delhi.”

“If the pain is not controlled we go for injections but not everyone can afford to purchase the medicine," said K Aravind Nikhil, a victim.

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