New Delhi : The top officials of drug regulatory authority and drug price monitoring agency of the country have met the pharma traders to discuss ensuring availability of essential drugs across the country in the wake of the impending wave of Omicron and Delta variants of Covid-19.
The officials from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) have met the top leaders of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) through video conference to discuss the availability of medicines in the present situation.
The government is concerned that the cases of Omicron and Delta variants of Covid-19 Virus may increase in time to come. The government also wants to ensure that there is no shortage of essential medicines to treat the disease and the related health issues across the country in a matter of emergency.
The aim is to especially ensure availability and accessibility of the medicines including all types of cough syrups, paracetamol tablets, vitamin C, zinc tablets, azithromycin and ivermectin and there is no shortage of these drugs in any pharmacy stores across the country.
Following this, the AIOCD president J S Shinde and General Secretary Rajiv Singhal in a letter to all office bearers, presidents, secretaries and executive committee members of its state affiliates, requested to ask all members to keep sufficient stock to meet out the challenges in time to come.
“If above or any other products are short in your state/districts please inform immediately so that we can come out with the shortages of the same. Also ensure that there should not be any hoarding of medicines at any place,” said the AIOCD leaders in the letter.
In tune with the Centre’s efforts to take proactive steps to face the challenge of a new wave of Covid-19 and its variants, Rajesh Bhushan, secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, on January 1, requested his counterparts in all States and Union Territories to ensure timely and swift upgradation of health infrastructure and regular review of availability of required logistics, oxygen availability, and buffer stock of drugs across all health facilities in the State.
States have already been advised to ensure health system preparedness by utilising the existing budget under the different components for creation of additional isolation beds and field hospitals, ICU beds, paediatric excellence centres, availability of oxygen, ambulances, drugs and diagnostics, Human Resources and tele-consultation platforms at the earliest.
To address a potential surge in cases, with a view to ensure preparedness States were advised to initiate creation of field or makeshift hospitals to augment availability of health infrastructure, with the help of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as well as the private sector, corporations and non governmental organisations, among others, he said in a letter to the States and Union Territories.
States may also consider leveraging hotel rooms and other accommodations linked with the Covid dedicated hospitals in government and private sector to cater to patients having mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19, in line with the action taken in the previous surge in cases. All states should also monitor the home isolation cases and ensure control rooms at district level or sub district/ward level are made functional, he said.