CHENNAI: After Express published multiple articles on the shortage of epilepsy medicine Sabril Vigabatrin, the Department of Welfare of the Differently Abled Persons sourced 3,400 tablets from abroad through ‘Vande Bharat’ flights.Sabril is an oral anti-epileptic drug. As imports were restricted post lockdown, there was acute shortage of this medicine.
Express had initially published an article on how social media helped a man from Chennai procure Sabril Vigabatrin for his two-year-old child from Bengaluru. Express had also carried reports on the grave shortage of this medicine and how it was rushed to a Bengaluru man in dire need of the drug.
“With the help of reports and activists, we requested the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation to help us. We sent a letter to Ministry of External Affairs. We tried different countries like Sri Lanka, Honkong and Dubai. We finally sourced 3,400 tablets worth `8 lakh from multiple sources and got it to Tamil Nadu using Vande Bharat flights,” said Johny Tom Varghese, State Commissioner for the Welfare of Differently Abled.
He further added that these medicines will be distributed among the needy free of cost. Those who require the medicine can approach the Commissionerate of Welfare of Differently Abled office at KK Nagar in Chennai, in person with a medical prescription.
Vaishnavi Jayakumar, a disability rights activist who was actively involved in helping out the families in need of this medicine said, “Tamil Nadu has shown the way. Also, this could be the beginning of a patient assistance program. As a medicine, Sabril Vogabatrin is very costly. It is made in India and exported abroad. People who have money import it again to India. This could be the beginning of something very vital in assisting epileptic patients.”