India supplier Hetero said it has so far supplied 20,000 doses, of which more than half went to Tamil Nadu, followed by private hospitals which took 7,000 doses, and the rest to other state hospitals.
Public hospitals in Maharashtra, the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, are running low on Remdesivir supply as local authorities reportedly dithered on placing orders for the drug.
Private hospitals and the southern state of Tamil Nadu meanwhile are much better placed, having got the majority of the doses due to advance orders.
The experimental drug by US-based Gilead Sciences was approved for sale in India on June 22.
While Maharashtra was among the states that pushed for Remdesivir’s approval, tenders for the drug are yet to be processed, state government officials said as per a report by The Economic Times.
This has led to a grim situation, where even states with a significantly lower number of COVID-19 infections such as Karnataka and Assam – just 15 percent of Maharashtra’s active cases, are much better placed in terms of Remdesivir supply.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
India approval for the drug was bagged by Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs and Mumbai-based Cipla, for a five vial treatment course costing Rs 28,000 to Rs 36,000. Only Hetero has begun selling the drug, while Cipla said supply would begin from July 9, the report added.
As per Hetero it has so far supplied 20,000 doses, of which more than half went to Tamil Nadu, followed by private hospitals which took 7,000 doses, and the rest to other state hospitals.
State governments are co-ordinating and placing orders for the live saving drug for public hospitals but each state has varying mechanisms. Public hospitals in Delhi and Gujarat used their own procurement systems.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in fact said it has “enough stock”.
Those in Maharashtra are however dependent on official approval to proceed. In capital Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to order the first consignment of 15,000 doses.
The city has over 5,800 patients on oxygen support who would be likely candidates for the treatment.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here