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Black fungus drug shortage: Delhi HC sorry for its helplessness

Black fungus drug shortage: Delhi HC sorry for its helplessness

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday lamented on its helplessness in not being able to help those who approach the court for procuring Amphotericin-B, the medicine used to treat mucormycosis or black fungus infection.

It observed that the situation is similar to "living hell" and said that it is helpless although the court is willing to help patients facing issues with procurement of medicine, but is "helpless".

"We are living this hell. Everyone is living this hell. It's a situation where we want to help but we are helpless," the bench said.

The bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh was hearing two pleas seeking medicine vials for two patients admitted in the national capital for black fungus infection.

The high court also said that it cannot pass any order that a particular patient should be given preference for treatment while denying it to others.

While the Centre placed a report giving the steps taken by it to source the medicine and overcome shortages, the high court directed it to give further details on the current status of its imports and when the stocks are expected.

As it was informed that steps are being taken by the Central government to procure 2.30 lakh vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B from six countries, the bench queried what made the government fix this number, and emphasised the requirement of the medicine is much more, against the backdrop of several cases reported in the country.

The bench further remarked that it is only expressing out anxiety because of the proportions this disease is assuming and the effort here is to save lives and every hour matters.

The Centre informed the High Court there are 423 patients of black fungus in Delhi and the Health Ministry on May 24 has called upon the Ministry of External Affairs to take steps to procure 2,30,000 vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B from Germany, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Belgium and China.

The Centre said the domestic production capacity of Amphotericin B injection in May was 1,40,000 and in June, it is expected to be 3,25,114 and cited the shortage of raw material as the main hurdle in granting more licences for the manufacture of the drug.

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TAGS:Delhi HC Mucormycosis 
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