Remdesivir use rampant, pvt hospitals to blame, says Maha minister

·2-min read

Mumbai, Apr 16 (PTI) Some hospitals were breaking COVID-19 treatment protocol set up by the Maharashtra government task force by administering Remdesivir injections to patients who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, Remdesivir, a key medicine in the treatment of the infection, is reportedly in short supply.

'The Maharashtra State COVID task force, comprising medical experts, has categorized COVID-19 patients as A, B, C, D and E, the last being those who have severe symptoms and have comborbidities. Remdesivir should be administered to only such patients. But I have come to know that it is being given to patients who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. It is the private hospitals that have increased the demand for Remdesivir,' he said.

'There should be judicious use of the medicine, but we have observed it is being used rampantly. We have been asking them not to do so, but there are limitations to our appeal as well. The state government has set up flying squads to check its misuse,' the minister added.

He said the state government had floated a tender for six lakh vials of Remdesivir but received no response, after which the application period was extended by two days and suppliers were informed that the state was willing to pay a higher price.

Tope also said there will be some shortage of the medicine till April 21 as a new batch would come in only at that time.

The minister said the state's wastage of doses during the COVID-19 vaccination drive was merely two per cent while the national average was six per cent. 'At the same time, Maharashtra is at the top in terms of number of people vaccinated so far. We have vaccinated more than one crore people so far. We have set up 4,000 vaccination centres and we have capacity to vaccinate around seven lakh people per day, up from three lakh per day now We need 1.70 crore vaccine vials per month so that we can inoculate the maximum number of people in a short time,' the minister said. PTI ND BNM BNM