Efficacy not proven, but demand for Remdesivir is skyrocketing – The New Indian Express


Express news service

TIRUCHY: Aditya * (37) has had a hard time over the past two days as he continued to run from pillar to post in search of Remdesivir for his mother, who was admitted to a private hospital in the city ​​and tested positive for Covid last week. While he managed to get two vials of the medicine, he had difficulty getting the other vials. He posted several social media messages and contacted all the doctors he knew, but to no avail. It was ultimately the hospital that managed to arrange for the other vials.

While on the one hand, the question of whether Remdesivir works or not remains, doctors believe that it is relevant to use it on some patients with moderate infection. Doctors also say that it is the patient’s family that prompts them to prescribe this antiviral drug, because they have heard so much about it. “We still don’t know if Remdesivir really works. We have been given guidelines on when to use it and we are using it wisely. There is a pan-Indian shortage of this drug, not just in Tiruchy.

We expect the situation to improve in the coming days, ”said Dr K Govindaraj, director of specialist hospitals Dr G Vishwanathan. Express spoke to a few dealers and dealers in town, who sell Cipla, Hetero Healthcare drugs. They all had no stocks of Remdesivir. “We have been facing a serious shortage since last week. I have been out of stock for three days. I expect the stock to arrive tomorrow, ”says one dealer. They attribute this shortage to the sudden increase in cases in April and hoarding.

Doctors are also urging people to allow them to do their jobs and not ask them why certain drugs are not being used. Sources say the patients’ relatives are desperate and willing to pay any price for the drug. The price of a bottle rose to Rs 20,000 in Tiruchy against the usual Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, according to a relative of a patient. Hospitals like the SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, which have a capacity of 200 beds, say they have so far been successful in getting the drug for their patients.

“There is a shortage. We only give it to patients who need it. We were helped by the government when we faced a shortage, ”says Dr N Balasubramanian, Dean of SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center. However, sufficient stock is available in public hospitals. MGMGH Dean Dr K Vanitha said they had sufficient stock and had not encountered any problems.

(* Name changed)


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