Black fungus: Demand, supply gap of medicine ‘too wide to bridge’; need drastic steps, says HC


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday said the gap between demand and supply of Amphotericin B, used for treating black fungus affecting primarily those who have recovered from Covid-19, is “too wide to bridge” and drastic steps are required to be taken.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, which heard for six hours the matter relating to various issues arising out of the pandemic, said the gap between the demand and supply is more than one-third and it cannot work at this pace. “It appears the present production and supply and their projections may fall well short of the requirement of the medicine to treat black fungus patients not only in Delhi but across India,” the bench said. The court said this situation is very different from oxygen crisis and “if there is very limited supply, everyone will have to take a cut. How do we pass any order that you give it”.

The Centre indicated to the court about the expected supply of the medicine stock in May and June, early delivery of its import and ramping up of production. Regarding augmentation of the medicine, central government standing counsel Kirtiman Singh and Amit Mahajan said expected supply in May was 1.36 lakh vials, in June it would be 2.55 lakh vials. Besides, the import order of the drug is 7.05 lakh vials and the government is trying to find out other avenues, he said. It  directed the Centre to file a further status report with all the relevant details and listed the matter for hearing on May 27. 

Immediately procure medicines: L-G to officials 

L-G Anil Baijal asked officials to undertake a real-time assessment and review of the requirement of drugs needed for the treatment of black fungus in city hospitals and ensure their “immediate procurement”, sources said. He also directed officials to address any additional and prospective logistical requirements in hospitals with regard to the treatment of black fungus at the earliest, they said. According to CM Arvind Kejriwal, as of Monday, the city has around 500 mucormycosis cases and the city has been grappling with a shortage of Amphotericin-B injection used in the treatment of the fungal infection. “Any additional and prospective logistical requirements in hospitals with regard to the treatment of mucormycosis should also be addressed at the earliest, the L-G has directed,” they said. 

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