Mumbai : The Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) recently discussed action plan and consumption trends of COVID-19 medicines with state government appointed high powered committee to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
The high powered committee chaired by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has Gujarat FDCA Commissioner Dr H G Koshia as its member including officials from the state home and health department constituted during lockdown period to combat the pandemic. The high powered committee meet also discussed oxygen consumption data along with remdesivir injection consumption pattern, favipiravir tablet 200 mg consumption pattern and favipiravir tablet 400 mg consumption monthwise.
While oxygen consumption has declined from 211.68 metric tons (MT) to 137. 80 MT between September and November 2020, month-wise sales data of favipiravir tablet 200 mg has also declined indicating a decline in COVID-19 cases in the state of Gujarat. While the month-wise sales data of favipiravir tablet 200 mg indicates a decrease in COVID-19 cases with consumption of 12,47,144 tablets in July to tablets 3,78, 804 in October, month-wise consumption of remdesivir injections has increased from 1,512 in June, 2020 to 83,023 in October, 2020 in retail trade and 11,788 in July, 2020 to 33,750 in October, 2020 in Gujarat Medical Services Corporation Limited (GMSCL) run hospitals signifying adequate availability of this essential COVID-19 medicine to fight the pandemic.
Month-wise sales data of favipiravir tablet 400 mg has shown increasing trend in consumption from 1,44,840 tablets in August, 2020 to 2,80,030 tablets in October, 2020 towards treatment of COVID-19 patients. The Gujarat FDCA had issued licenses to 10 more oxygen manufacturers recently taking the total count to 57 medical oxygen manufacturers to cater to COVID-19 patients.
Union health ministry had also directed all the states to ensure adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.States and UTs were urged to ensure free inter-state movement of oxygen supplies based on complaints of shortage, hoarding and black marketing of medical oxygen across the country.
Gujarat is today producing four times more than its requirement of 200 metric tonnes of medical oxygen on a daily basis. With the issuing of new licenses, the state is producing 800 metric tonnes daily. In the wake of limited supply of tocilizumab injections, the Gujarat government had also formed a high level committee of physicians to examine reports of critically ill COVID-19 patients who were prescribed tocilizumab injections to ensure its judicious use.
Available in dosage of 80 mg per vial, 200 mg per vial and 400 mg, tocilizumab injection is being used on COVID-19 patients who suffer from extreme immune system response towards the infection, called cytokine storm, leading to multi organ failure and eventually death.
Tocilizumab manufactured by Roche Pharma and marketed by Mumbai-based Cipla is sold under the brand name Actemra in India. Ever since Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had given guidelines for its off label use in June 13, 2020, it has also been prescribed for critically ill COVID-19 patients.