Monitor supply of drugs under COVID Treatment Protocol including Remdesivir, Toclizomab: MHA to States, UTs
New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a notice to all Union Territories (UTs) and States urging them to monitor the supply of critical medicines available under the COVID Treatment Protocol in their respective UTs/states and appoint Nodal Officers who will be responsible for the unrestricted and timely movement of Remdesivir within their respective UTs/states as per allotment.
The letter was moved in the wake of a sharp increase in COVID- 19 cases in the country along with a high positivity rate.
In accordance with the earlier order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A) dated 23.03.2021, and D.O. letter of even number dated 23.03.202 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified that there shall be no restrictions on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods as per the Guidelines.
MHA noted that various States/UTs have imposed additional restrictions on certain activities, including weekend and night curfews etc, to break the chain of transmission and curb the spread of COVID-19.
MHA further added that a monitoring mechanism has been set up under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers through the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) and Drug Controller General of India for monitoring and coordinating the supply of COVID-19 drugs on a daily basis, with Pharmaceutical Associations, manufacturing companies and State Governments.
In addition, the letter said;
a. The supply of Remdesivir injection and imported drug Toclizomab is under severe constraint due to a sharp increase in demand.
b. Several steps have been taken to augment the production capacity of the seven licensed manufacturers of Remdesivir injection in the country from 38.80 lakh units per month to 74 lakh units per month by early May 2021.
c. Further, MoHFW and DoP, vide their D.O. letter dated 21.04.2021, have communicated to States and UTs, an interim allocation (for the period from 21st April to 30th April, 2021) for supply of Remdesivir by all the licensed domestic manufacturers.
Remdesivir, an adenosine analogue nucleotide prodrug, is a promising therapeutic candidate for Covid-19 which acts by interacting with the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and prevents viral replication by terminating RNA transcription prematurely.
Toslizomab, a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against the interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), is used to treat severe cases of covid.The pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is dominated by cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Increased levels of cytokines, especially interleukin-6 (IL-6), were found to be a key factor of inflammation in COVID-19 extreme disease.
In view of the above, MHA urges all UTs and states to issue necessary instructions to all the authorities concerned to take all measures for compliance with the above allocation and subsequent allocations to be made by MoHFW and DoP in a smooth and timely manner to ensure seamless supply of transport of Remdesivir to States/UTs concerned.
The letter further included that any disruption or hindrance to the movement of this drug, may have an unintended adverse effect on the nation's fight against COVID-19.
MHA has requested that all UTs and states personally monitor the supply of essential medicines required under the COVID Treatment Protocol in their UTs/states and appoint Nodal Officers who will be responsible for the unrestricted and timely movement of Remdesivir within their UT/states as per MoHFW allocation.