Last updated 2 weeks ago
Waking up in the morning, most of us first see social media posts of people requesting Remdesivir vials for their family members, indicating that there is a high demand for it in Vizag, but how many of them are really getting the dose when required? While the government says they have got an adequate supply of injections at government hospitals, and that private hospitals are told to get them from the Drug Control Administration, there are still many who have to buy the injection in the black market at high prices. According to doctors, Remdesivir injections cannot prevent death but can only reduce the severity of the infection. Also, it is recommended for moderate to severe patients.
Many times, family members of the Covid-19 patients are forced to procure Remdesivir from outside sources. As per the AP Government statistics, a total of 22 government hospitals, and 39 private hospitals, are providing Covid-19 treatment in Visakhapatnam District. Around 2,700 vials of Remdesivir were received by the District Administration a few days ago and the government hospitals will be receiving the injections depending on the need. “With around 500 Covid-19 patients in a day, at least 300 patients need the Remdesivir injection. So as per the requirement, we are getting a supply from the Andhra Pradesh Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC)”, said PV Sudhakar Principal, Andhra Medical College (AMC), and Special Officer for COVID-19 Vizag.
The Remdesivir injection supply is being given to Chest Hospital, VIMS and other government hospitals. However, the private hospitals in Vizag are required to submit indents, on the requirement of the vials and purchase through the Drug Control Administration.
Sources say that a few pharmacists stocked up the drug knowing about the second wave and are now selling it at a high price. While the Remdesivir vial costs Rs 3,500, there are many patients who are forced to buy it for Rs. 40,000 each.
“It was a week ago, we bought 6 vials for Rs 1.2 lakhs and if it is only one vial, they charged Rs 40,000. The hospital did not provide the Remdesivir injections when my mother-in-law was in a critical position with Covid-19 and we were told to get them outside. In that situation when we were only trying to save her life, we did not think about money. Unfortunately, she did not survive”, said Swathi, whose mother-in-law died after being treated at a private hospital.
There are still many patients who are getting Remdesivir injections from outside for a higher price as the hospitals in Vizag are facing high demand. In a worrying situation, many of them fail to complain and rather opt for getting medicine to save their family at any cost.
On the issues raised on illegal procurement of injections, the government has constituted a three-tier vigilance mechanism. As per the instructions given by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, flying squads have started working in the field to get a hold on illegal procurement of the Remdesivir injections.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) April 28, 2021
Facts about the Remdesivir injection:
*Remdesivir is not a life-saving drug.
*It is to be administered only in a hospital setting.
*It is advised for patients who are moderately sick and receiving oxygen.
*It must never be administered at home.
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— ArogyaAndhra (@ArogyaAndhra) April 28, 2021