The supply position of the drug is expected to improve with extra imports and increase in domestic production

The central government has initiated steps to ramp up the manufacture of Amphotericin B, a drug which is being actively prescribed by physicians to patients suffering from Mucormycosis, a post-COVID complication.

With a sudden rise in demand in some states for the drug, the government is engaging with manufacturers to increase production of the drug.

"The supply position is expected to improve with extra imports of this drug and increase in its production domestically," the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said on Wednesday.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Mucormycosis is a "fungal infection that mainly affect people who are on medication for other health problems that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens".

During a media briefing last week, Member (Health) NITI Aayog VK Paul had said Mucormycosis (also known as Black Fungus) was detected mostly in diabetic patients.

"We want to reassure that there is no major outbreak & we are doing proper surveillance of the situation," he had said.

The Department of Pharma has allocated Amphotericin B amongst the States and Union Territories (UTs) based on expected supply that will be available from May 10 to May 31.

This has been done after reviewing the stock position with the manufacturers and importers, and the demand pattern of Amphotericin B.

States have, meanwhile, been requested to put in place a mechanism for equitable distribution of supplies amongst government and private hospitals and health care agencies.

According to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, states have also been requested to publicise the ‘Point of Contact’ for private and government hospitals to obtain the drug from their allocation.

"Further, States have been requested that judicious use may be made of the stock that has been already supplied as well as stock that has been allocated. The arrangements for supply will be monitored by National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA)," the statement explained.

The country is going through a severe second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and it has affected various parts of the country.

The Government of India said it was continuously working to augment the supply of essential Covid medicines and making them available to the State Governments and UTs through an equitable and transparent manner.

In this context, it is worth mentioning that the production of Remdisivir, an anti-viral injection used to treat Covid-19 patients in hospitals, has been increased almost threefold over the past month or so.

A mechanism has also been put in place whereby manufacturers supply the drug directly to government and private hospitals to ensure the treatment patients who need it.

This is being done under the supervision of the drug authorities of the respective states.