NEW DELHI: As states send out SOSs to procure crucial antifungal drug amphotericin B in the wake of rising mucormycosis cases, the Centre on Friday assured that over 5 lakh vials of this is going to be available by the end of this month through ramped up production and imports.
The Union government said it has issued licenses to five more companies to manufacture the medicine, considered the primary treatment for mucormycosis, and is in the process of importing 6.8 lakh vials in May and June. The import is part of efforts to ramp up supply and availability of the medicine, said the Union health ministry in a statement.
The government said production capacity of companies was extremely limited in April but following support from the Centre, these firms will cumulatively produce 1,63,752 vials of the drug by May-end. The production will be further ramped up to 2,55,114 vials in June.
As per unconfirmed reports, nearly 5,000 cases of the disease have been reported in India, while more than 125 people may have succumbed to it. Doctors said one patient needs 4-8 vials every day for this disease for about 15-30 days during the course of the treatment.
Unexpectedly high demand of amphotericin B in the last few weeks has meant that it is out of stock in most places, prompting the Union government to engage in its centralised, quota wise distribution.
The health ministry, meanwhile, in a letter to states, asked them to ensure infection prevention and control, as well as hygiene and sanitation in hospitals.
Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in his letter to chief secretaries and administrators of all states and UTs, asked them to activate hospital infection control committees with the head of the institution or an administrator as the chairperson.
The letter also said hospitals should designate an infection prevention nodal officer, preferably a microbiologist or senior infection control nurse and prepare and implement the infection prevention control as per the National Guidelines for Infection and Control in Healthcare Facilities.