Nellore: The procedure insisted upon by the medical and health department to obtain Amphotericin B injection to treat the dreaded black fungus (MucorMycosis) has made it grueling for the desperate attendants of patients, forcing them to run from pillar to post for signatures of medical officers and senior officials in health and revenue departments.
Initially, the procedure was framed for the life-saving injection-Tocilizumab and now is being followed other drugs too. Each patient requires 42 vials of the injection and each vial costs about Rs 3,500 at the Central Drug Store functioning under the medical and health department infrastructure wing.
According to a medical officer, there are seven odd parameters to secure the injection. Some of the conditions are that patient should be in the intensive care unit for at least 48 hours; he should not be a TB patient, and there should not be any bacterial infections. In addition to this, he should not have responded to steroids.
The first step is that the doctor treating the patient should raise an indent and it should be signed by the duty doctor. Thereafter, the attendant should obtain signatures of District Coordinator of Health Services, District Medical and Health Officer, Superintendent of the Hospital concerned, Drug Control Wing officer and finally the Joint Collector. The attendant has to run to all these offices and the less said the better about his plight if he happens to be uneducated.
Finally, he should produce the indent at the Central Drug Store and submit a demand draft. A senior official said that he had seen people struggling to reach out to officers to obtain signatures and secure Tocilizumab to save their kin in critical condition. He stressed the need to relax the conditions to save the ordeal for the kin of patients and also to speed up the treatment.
“The medical and health department gave orders to issue Amphotericin B injection immediately after an indent is raised unlike in the case of Tocilizumab and do the paperwork later. But the order is not being followed because of objections by the Central Drug Stores,” the senior official said, lamenting the plight of patients and their attendants. He said the situation is no different to secure Tocilizumab from Central Drug Stores.