Pune: As COVID-19 cases reduce, Remdesivir demand goes down

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Pune, May 19 (PTI) With the number of COVID-19 cases declining in Pune, the demand by hospitals for Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, has also gone down, officials said on Wednesday.

In the middle of April, when there was a paucity of Remdesivir and relatives were seen running pillar to post to get the injections of the anti-viral drug for the hospitalised patients, the district administration had set up a control room to tame the black-marketing of the drug and for the smooth and transparent distribution of vials to hospitals.

According to the officials from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), there was a 20 percent decline in the demand for Remdesivir from hospitals over the last two days.

Shyam Pratapwar, assistant commissioner of FDA, who is entrusted with the responsibility of distributing Remdesivir to all the hospitals, said when the cases were at peak and all the hospitals were full, the supply of Remdesivir was less than the demand and that is why the control room was set up to ensure smooth and proportionate distribution of the drug.

'Everyday, we used to provide 4,000 to 6,000 vials to over 600 hospitals in the district. However, for last two to three days, the demand has plummeted by 20 per cent,' he said.

He added that for the last two days, the hospitals have been asked about how many vials they require and as per their demand, the vials are being provided.

'Since some hospitals have previous stock with them, we are asking the hospitals to notify whenthey require the vials again,' he added.

Pratapwar added that, unlike last month, the admitted patients are getting full prescribed doses in time and this could be one of the reasons for the early recovery of the patients.

Even since the control room was set up on April 12, totalof1,52,125 vials of Remdesivir have been distributed to over 625 hospitals in the district.

Dr Jitendra Oswal, deputy medical director, Bharti Vidyapeeth Hospital said that when the cases were at the peak in April, the hospital used to require at least150 to 160 vials per day. However, as the number of admitted patients has reduced, the use of Remdesivir has also dropped to 20 to 30 vials a day.

Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO, Symbiosis University Hospital, said that since the count of patients has reduced in the hospital, they have stopped ordering the drug.

'It is very unfortunate that when we needed the drug, we did not get it and when we do not need it, we are getting it,' he said.

Two weeks ago, there were 210 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, but there are only 80, he added.

Dr H K Sale, executive director of Noble Hospital, said the situation has become manageable when it comes to the supply of Remdesivir.

'Since the last couple of days, the patient load has reduced by twenty-five per cent compared to what it was around two weeks ago,' he said.

'We are prioritizing serious patients. But all the patients are now getting Remdesivir. There is no panic now,' he added. PTI SPK NP NP