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Life-saving drug going at Rs 70k a vial in Hyderabad | Hyderabad News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: Covid-19 patients diagnosed with black fungus (mucormycosis) are struggling to find a life-saving drug that has vanished from the market and is being illegally sold at a very high price.
Vials of liposomal amphotericin is being sold at Rs 70,000 per injection, right under the nose of law-enforcing agencies, patients who bought the medicine secretly confessed.

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In view of rising cases of life-saving drugs sold at prices several times higher than MRP, officials should proactively crack down on black marketeers. This is a national emergency and all enforcement agencies should unite to help the common man.

It comes at a time when the government-designated ENT hospital announced on Sunday that they have come across 100 cases of black fungus in a month. Top five corporate hospitals in Hyderabad are each reporting 70-80 black fungus cases a month.
The injection is the primary drug required to treat black fungus that damages nose, sinuses, eyes and sometimes brain, and the shortage is leading panic among patients and caregivers.
A patient needs at least 15-20 of these injections for the treatment spanning 2-3 weeks and although hospitals are prescribing this by hundreds, patients are left to themselves to scout for the injection.
“Within five days of discharge from a hospital, my brother developed symptoms and we went to another corporate hospital. We were prescribed six vials of the injection (300mg) and asked to come back for treatment with the injection,” said Suresh N, a relative of the patient.
Suresh began looking for it, but soon realised there was no one who had stocks.
“Later, we were offered 1 vial for Rs 1 lakh. After checking all medical shops, suppliers and dealers, I could find a vial for Rs 70,000 but am still looking for someone offering at lesser cost. It is not available anywhere at the MRP of Rs 4,000,” he said.
The nature of the fungus is such that it spreads very fast and any delay in treatment can have serious impact on the patient’s health, said Dr Manish Gupta, resident medical officer, Government ENT hospital Koti.
“This is an invasive fungal infection and a prolonged 3-5 weeks treatment is required, which means every patient will require at least 10-5 vials,” he said.
Arun Daniel Yellamaty, founder Youngistan Foundation, said they are getting many calls from patients’ families and friends asking for remdesivir and liposomal amphotericin injection.
“After getting one or two at the hospital, they are asked to buy from outside. So most of them are in panic and have no guidance on where to buy these. They end up calling everyone for help,” he said.
Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said so far no complaints have been received regarding the antifungal injection, but they will act the moment they get one.

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