K’taka borrows anti-rabies vaccine from other states

Karnataka is now looking at help from neighbouring state after it has run into a severe shortage of two crucial drugs.  - anti-rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin injections.

According to a statement by the Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society (KSDLWS), which procures and distributes medicines to government-run hospitals, it has written to Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala hoping to get a few vials for patients in Karnataka.

Kerala has now provided 1,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine and 2,000 vials of immunoglobulin injections while Tamil Nadu has offered to supply 5,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine. These drugs will be distributed to district centres, according to officials in the department of health and family welfare. The existing stock, the department estimates, will last for three months.

The KSDLWS has also asked the manufacturers to provide their supply capacity as they have said that the shortfall of capacity is the reason to be unable to participate in tenders.

The department has now said that it would procure the medications as per Section 4(g) of the KTPP Act that provides exemption for procurements without calling for tenders. The department is trying hard to make ends meet and procure even a few vials of anti-rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin while repeated tenders invoked no response.

In Bengaluru alone, over 70,000 cases of dog bites have been reported this year. However, none of the hospitals has medication for this. While some hospitals claim that there has been no stock of the anti-rabies vaccine at all, the others are procuring it from private pharmacies.

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