NEW DELHI: The Union government has made an interim allocation of Tocilizumab among the states, as a fresh limited stock of the drug used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients has arrived in the country.
In a letter, Pharma Joint Secretary Navdeep Rinwa and Health and Family Welfare Ministry Director Rajiv Wadhawan said the drug went out of stock in the country a few weeks ago due to a sudden surge in its demand because of a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Fresh limited stock of this drug has now been imported and is available with lone marketer company Cipla Ltd for marketing and distribution in the country, the letter said.
"An interim allocation of this drug among states has been finalised by MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and the DoP (Department of Pharmaceuticals) in consultation with the company," it added.
The allocated stocks have been sent and are being sent to the Cipla depots in the respective states and are "placed at the disposal of the states for the allocation to the government and private hospitals in the state", the letter said.
No separate allocation is being sent to private hospitals, it added.
"The states are advised to ensure that these limited stocks are used judiciously and strictly as per the standard treatment protocol issued by the Joint Monitoring Group of MoHFW," the letter said.
The company has been directed to issue the allocated stocks strictly as per the guidance of the state governments concerned.
"The allocation is interim and would be reviewed shortly," it added.
The letter was sent on Tuesday (April 27) to the chief secretary/ principal secretary and secretary health of the states and Union Territories that have been alloted the drug.
According to the letter, the interim allocation of tocilizumab is to states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Kerala.
The allocation is also for Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and central institutions.
India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 coronavirus cases, which pushed the total tally to 1,79,97,267, while the death toll crossed two lakh following 3,293 fresh fatalities, according to Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday.