Bengaluru's private hospitals have zero stock of essential Covid-19 drug Remdesivir

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said manufacturers stopped making the drug in November when the number of cases began to fall

Remdesivir drug for Covid-19. Credit: Reuters Photo

About 1,223 Covid patients getting treated at 49 city hospitals need 4,932 Remdesivir doses for the next three days.

With each individual patient requiring 8-10 Remdesivir single-dose vials, the hospitals have 535 single-dose vials, with many showing zero stock.

Dr Y L Rajashekar, secretary, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), told DH that 1,223 of 1,599 patients needing an urgent dose of Remdesivir include both walk-in and government-referred patients.

“This is the estimated requirement,” he said. “If they (dosages) are not available, the patients cannot be treated. We have to procure them now. We did the survey in the city and are submitting it to the government today.”

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Dr Rajashekar said many hospitals show zero stock, while some have 50-60 doses. Each patient is administered six doses — two on the first day and one each on the next four days.

Some of the hospitals needing the drug are Columbia Asia, Manipal, Suguna, Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain, AV, Santosh, Bangalore Hospital, Aveeksha, Mallige, Neha Prakash and Ananya.

With one mathematical model putting the number of fresh daily cases in the state at 36,343 from May 2, the state may soon run out of essential Covid drugs like Remdesivir. Only three manufacturers — Microlabs, Mylan and Jubilant — are making the drug in the state.

“Now the state has promised private hospitals that they will themselves talk to manufacturing companies and make the drug available at a discounted price as hospitals across the state face shortage,” Rajashekar said, adding that the state’s drug controller has been asked to check black marketing and hoarding.

Health Commissioner Dr K V Trilok Chandra said the government has 35,000 doses of Remdesivir, reiterating that none of the government hospitals is falling short of the drug.

“We won’t be supplying the drug from our stock, but the drug controller will facilitate purchases from the manufacturers till the Covid situation stabilises,” Chandra said. “They will be procuring it from the open market, though.”

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said manufacturers stopped making the drug in November when the number of cases began to fall.

Beside Bengaluru's six-digit active caseload, six other districts in Karnataka have more than 1,000 active cases: Bidar, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Tumakuru.