As stocks fall, Remdesivir makers step up production

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 16, 2021

Firms had assured to supply around 55,000 vials   -  Kunal Mahto

However, shortage will continue in Maharashtra as vials will take time to reach

Even as Maharashtra continues to report severe rise in Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks, the State is now facing a shortage of Remdesivir injections and medical oxygen used for treatment of such patients. State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingane said on Friday that there is a shortage of 12,000 to 15,000 Remdesivir injections but pharma companies have been told to step up production.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Shingane said, “The companies that produce Remdesivir injection have increased their production but it will take some time for the vials to hit the market. If we consider a 10-12 per cent shortage, then Maharashtra will continue to face a shortage of 12,000 to 15,000 Remdesivir vials for the next two to three days.”

“15 days back, the heads of Remdesivir-making companies had assured me to supply around 55,000 vials of the injection. However, till April 15 these companies could provide only 37,000 to 39,000 vials,” he added.

‘Save medical oxygen’

The pharma companies have said that the supply will be streamlined April 19 onwards. Meanwhile, the State task force has advised the government to cancel all elective surgeries and admissions in hospitals in a bid to save medical oxygen. Maharashtra health officials are estimating oxygen demand to touch 2,000 metric tonne by the end of the month, far outstripping the State’s daily production capacity of 1,250 metric tonne.

About 1,500 industries in Pune will also be unable to continue operations as the government has decided to divert 100 per cent oxygen supply for medical purpose. According to the State Industries Department, there are 1,500 units in Pune that are dependent on industrial oxygen supply.

Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde announced that the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has started supplying oxygen from Jamnagar plant in Gujarat to Maharashtra. The company will be supplying nearly 100 metric tonnes to the State.

Published on April 16, 2021

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