BENGALURU: Karnataka is stocking up its supply of the essential anti-viral drug Remdesivir to treat severely ill Covid patients in hospitals amid a surge in cases in the State. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar said the state has placed a requisition for 70,000 doses of Remdesivir with Cipla, Jubilant Life Sciences and Mylan. “We received 10,000 doses today. Tomorrow, we will get another 15,000 doses and the remaining will arrive next week,” he said.
He reiterated that there is no shortage of the drug in the State and that the government is supplying it to private hospitals based on requirement. “We had asked all private hospitals to send us their requirement of Remdesivir. We are supplying the drug to them from our stocks,” he added.
Spokespersons of some major private hospitals too confirmed that the government is supplying them Remdesivir after the requirement was sent. “There was an acute shortage with a sudden surge of patients who had to be administered Remdesivir. We had sent our requirement of 70 doses for Friday and Saturday to the government and they promptly sent it to us,” said Medical Director, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Dr Marker.
The demand for Remdesivir has shot up across the country in the last three weeks. The shortage is also being attributed to pharma companies slowing down the production after Covid cases started decreasing at the beginning of the year because the expiry date of Remdesivir is up to three months. As the cases started increasing after March 10, the demand for the critical drug has also gone up.
Karnataka is one of the worst-hit states with Covid cases going up alarmingly. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday warned against hoarding or black marketing of the drug. In May last year, four domestic pharma companies Cipla, Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero and Mylan had entered into ‘non-exclusive licensing agreements with US drug major Gilead Sciences to manufacture and distribute Remdesivir.