With the Tamil Nadu government sounding an alert of surging mucormycosis or black fungus cases, the authorities have ordered 5,000 vials of Amphotericin from a private pharmaceutical company in Hosur.
The medicine is effective in treating the disease and a patient requires five to six vials to get cured.
In Chennai a vial costs between Rs 8,000 and Rs 9,000 and medical distributors are of the opinion that the prices may go up as there is an acute shortage.
Mukundan Ramakrishnan from Madurai told IANS, “There will be a shortage of the medicine as no one would have stocked Amphotericin in large numbers as only ten to twenty cases are reported a year in Tamil Nadu and 1,000 vials of stock used to be there in the state. With the sudden demand, there would naturally be a shortage and the government has to procure it immediately to cure.”
While doctors of government hospitals are of the opinion that there is adequate stock of the vial effective in treating mucormycosis, there is apprehension among nursing homes and private hospitals.
Sources in the pharmaceutical industry said that there could be a delay of 10 to 15 days to get the medicine owing to shortage of raw materials for the production.
Muthuperumal, a medical distributor, said: “There can be delay in getting the medicines as the raw materials required are to be imported from China. Hence there would be delay in getting the medicines. We are trying to procure from neighboring states like Karnataka and Kerala to meet the demand if it arises.”
Social media expert and influencer, Rajan Mathew Roy said that a lot of people across the country with special emphasis on Tamil Nadu are searching more and more on black fungus and the medicine to cure it.
He said, “People are searching about the disease, its severity and the medicine to combat it. Many are then resorting to twitter and facebook for appeals to procure the drug and stock it. This is not acceptable as any disease has to be treated by a doctor and medicine needs to be procured with the doctor’s prescription.”