Limited stock of Covid drug Tocilizumab imported, allocated to states


New Delhi, April 28 : Tocilizumab, prescribed for treatment of some Covid-19 patients under certain conditions, went out of stock in the country a few weeks ago due to a sudden surge in its demand and fresh limited stocks have been imported in India, the Prime Minister's Office was informed. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals had alerted the PMO and the Ministry of Home Affairs that Tocilizumab was out of stock and a limited amount of it have been allocated to the states facing severe surge in Covid cases. A letter, jointly signed by Joint Secretary, Pharmaceuticals, Navdeep Rinwa, and Health Ministry Director Rajiv Wadhawan said that Tocilizumab went out of stock in the country a few weeks ago due to a sudden surge in its demand because of a sharp rise in Covid cases in the country this month. It said a fresh limited stock of this drug, manufactured by Roche, has now been imported and is available with Cipla Ltd for marketing and distribution in the country. They stated that an interim allocation of this drug among states has been finalised jointly by the Health Ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals in consultation with the company. "The allocated stocks have been sent/are being sent to the Cipla depots in the respective states and are placed at the disposal of the states for allocation to government and private hospitals in the state," the letter stated, clarifying that no separate allocation is being sent to private hospital. States have been advised to ensure that these limited stocks are used judiciously and strictly as per the standard treatment protocol issued by the Joint Monitoring Group of the Health Ministry, it said. "The company has been directed to issue allocated stocks strictly as per the guidance of concerned state governments. The allocation is interim and would be reviewed shortly," the letter stated. A total 50 units each have been allocated to Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Kerala, and 25 each to Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttarakhand. A total of 100 each have been allocated to Rajasthan and Karnataka. Delhi has been allocated 500 and Maharashtra has been allocated 800. Uttar Pradesh has been allocated 150 and Telangana and Haryana 160 each. Central Institutions, Gujarat, Punjab and Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have been allocated 200 each. /IANS


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