Gujarat government to procure 20,000 vials of remdesivir
Gujarat government is planning to procure 20,000 vials of remdesivir injections for the treatment of COVID-19, which will be distributed to government and semi-government hospitals.
Dr Hemant Koshia, Commissioner, FDCA Gujarat, said, “The State Government is ensuring that all the medicines and equipment which are required for the treatment of COVID-19 are available. Therefore, a high powered committee for COVID-19 has approved procurement of 20,000 vials of remdesivir injections, one of the essential medicines for the treatment of this infection.”
He informed, “Since the market is witnessing a shortage of the said medicine since only a limited number of pharma companies are producing it, we will be initiating a discussion with pharma companies and connecting them with the Gujarat Medical Services Corporation for a suitable option of procuring remdesivir on a priority.”
Reportedly, the State government has received 2000 vials of the drug from Hetero Healthcare and 1000 vials from Cipla.
Speaking about increasing supply of remdesivir in the market, he informed that companies like Cipla are planning to ramp up production. He also informed that another promising drug is tocilizumab which is being manufactured by only one company in the world. It is imported in India and distributed by Cipla.
He added, “The ICMR added this drug to the COVID-19 treatment protocol on June 13, but in the state, a majority of government hospitals as well as private hospitals were using this drug since May 2020. The drug was used for the first time on May 1, 2020, by Dr Shesil Parmar from Gandhinagar Civil Hospital.”
Commenting on the availability of both the drugs in the market, Koshia informed, “The state government has already placed a bulk order for 8000 Tocilizumab injections to Cipla. Although the price of each vial in the market is Rs 40,545, the state government is giving it to needy patients free of cost. “
Commenting on black marketing of tocilizumab and remdesivir in the State, he informed, “We are taking strict against them who are found guilty. Recently, a first information report (FIR) has been filed against the owner of Sarthak Pharmaceuticals, a pharma distributor from Surat, who found selling tocilizumab injection at Rs 57000 each instead at the maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs 40,545 each. This is higher than the market price. This person was found guilty of violating the DPCO 2013, Essential Commodities Act and Drugs and Cosmetic Act.”
He also commented that the state government, as well as FDCA authorities, are taking all measures to curb unethical marketing practices in the state.
Presently, the state has around 64 government and semi-government hospitals which are involved in treating COVID-19 patients.