Health ministry asks Indian pharma trade channels to ensure availability of critical drugs for management of COVID-19

6 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

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Health Ministry has directed all the Indian Pharma trade channels to ensure the availability of critical and essential drugs.

The Union Health Ministry has directed Indian Pharma Trade channels to ensure the availability of 55 drugs for ICU management and another 96 drugs for general availability and treatment of various co-morbid conditions during the COVID-19 crisis. For this, the Director-General Health Services (DGHS) has prepared a list of 55 drugs for ICU management and a list of another 96 drugs for general availability and treatment of various co-morbid conditions.

Previously on April 16, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had issued a letter to India Pharma Trade channels to ensure the availability of critical drugs for the management of the situation due to COVID-19.”The availability of essential medicines across the country has been satisfactory so far due to your untiring efforts. The contributions of the Indian Pharma Trade channels during these difficult times have continued to maintain availability and supply of important drugs,” stated a letter written by a senior official to All India Origin Chemist & Distributors (AIOCD).

In accordance with the clinical management guidelines for COVID-19, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been recommended as prophylaxis for certain categories like healthcare workers, household contacts of positive cases, among some others.

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A combination of HCQ and Azithromycin has been prescribed for severe patients requiring ICU management. Some other drugs are also presently under various stages of trials but have so far not been recommended for use in India.

“In light of this current pandemic, it is absolutely essential that sufficient market availability of these drugs along with other essential drugs is ensured by your members. This will be in the effective clinical management of the pandemic. I would request you ensure adequate availability of the essential medicines during these challenging times,” the letter said.