Private hospitals in Mumbai struggling to get remdesivir, tocilizumab

the asian age  | Vrushali Purandare

Metros, Mumbai

The civic authority has received around 1,02,500 vials of remdesivir and 6,500 vials of tocilizumab so far

Representational image. (PTI)

Mumbai: Several private hospitals in Mumbai are struggling to provide remdesivir and tocilizumab medicines to COVID-19 patients as the supply of both the drugs is less compared to the rising number of cases in the city.

The civic authority has received around 1,02,500 vials of remdesivir and 6,500 vials of tocilizumab so far and has supplied them to government hospitals across the state. Around 130 vials of remdesivir and tocilizumab were also provided to private hospitals.

A section of doctors claim only limited stocks of the drugs are available in the market, and there have been instances of dealers quoting high prices. In the past few days, relatives of patients and doctors at private hospitals have also been seen seeking help to get these drugs in different parts of the state.

State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradeep Awate says a few corporate hospitals have minimal stock of these drugs, while smaller hospitals do not have any.

“Most of these hospitals manage with the available stock. They treat mild cases and refer severe cases to government hospitals. We have found that tocilizumab is effective and life-saving, while remdesivir is also good,” he says.

He points out that black market sales are already happening, and the drugs are priced at double or triple their cost.

Dr Avinash Bondwe, president, Indian Medical Association, says it is becoming very difficult for private hospitals in many places to procure the drugs. “Very limited stock is available in the market. Some dealers quoted high rates. For instance, dealers quoted a heavy price of Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 for remdesivir, which is priced below Rs 5,000,” he says.

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