Nagpur, Jun 2 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said mucormycosis is no more a rare disease in Nagpur, and directed the Centre and the state government to take all steps to ensure adequate supply of medicines used in the treatment.
Justices S B Shukre and A G Gharote of the Nagpur bench of the high court made the observation while hearing a bunch of petitions pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic.
It said that as per the figures mentioned in the affidavit filed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) it appears that Mucormycosis is no longer a rare fungal infection in Nagpur city and assumed the form of an epidemic.
It then asked the Centre and state government to take immediate steps to ramp up the production capacity of Indian drug manufacturers that are involved in producing Amphotericin, a key drug in mucormycosis treatment.
Now, it is well known that raw materials used for manufacturingdrugs- Amphotericin B (Lipid Complex) and amphotericin (Liposomal)- are imported for their bigger part, if effective steps are taken by the Centre for their import, it would amount to valuable service rendered to Indian society, the court said.
'We urge the Central government as well as the state government to take immediate steps for increasing the production capacity of Indian manufacturers that are involved in producing these drugs. Whatever help is needed by them, must be made available forthwith,' it said.
As on May 29 this year, the number of patients suffering from mucormycosis in Nagpur city was 1,584 and out of these patients 830 have been operated upon so far, the court said, adding that it means that more than 50 per cent of the affected patients have undergone surgery as part of the treatment given to them.
The data further shows that out of 1,584 patients, surgical removal of eyeball has taken place in 74 cases and so far 69 patients have succumbed to the disease, it said.
'It appears from these figures that in Nagpur city this is no longer a rare fungal infection, that it has already become common, and it has assumed a form of an epidemic,' it said.
The court said thatthe Centre as well as the state government has to ensure at all cost that Amphotericin B (Lipid Complex) and Amphotericin B (Liposomal) and Echinocandian, which are presently considered to be effective in mucormycosis treatment, remain in adequate supply.
The court was informed by the Centre that the expected production of Amphotericin B from the existing five manufacturers is likely to increase in June to 2,55,114 vials, and 1,02,000 more vials are expected to be produced in June.
'However, it is not known as to how many and how these allocations have been made, whether randomly or by considering the caseload in Maharashtra,' the court said.
Whatever be the method adopted for making allocations, the fact remains that Maharashtra, in particular Nagpur city, having very high prevalence of mucormycosis infection remain in crying state for Amphotericin B.
In spite of having so many patients in the state, major part of it is in Nagpur, patients are not getting enough number of vials per day for the treatment because of deficit allocation and short supply of Amphotericin B to Maharashtra, it said.
'We hope that these entreaties would be positively answered by the Central government and if not, further loss of lives of a few more patients, unfortunate as it may be, may be a fait accompli,' court said. PTI CLS NP NP