Call to keep antibody cocktail drug available for Covid care in AP
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
A two-dose drug costs as high as Rs 1.12 lakh
Antibody cocktail drug Casirivimab-Imdevimab (Image credit: www.regencov.com)
Vijayawada: In view of the steep hike in Covid19 cases, the Andhra Pradesh government has been urged to keep ready adequate stocks of life-saving antibody cocktail drug Casirivimab-Imdevimab to treat high-risk patients infected by the virus.
Officials from the state drugs control administration said a majority of pharmacies are unwilling to keep a stock of cocktail drugs at their outlets as this is very expensive. A two-dose drug costs as high as Rs 1.12 lakh. Roche India is the manufacturer and Cipla is the distributor.
Pharmacists say they are supposed to pay the money in advance for the supply of such drug and, worse, it is non-returnable if not used. "We can no longer afford to keep huge stocks of such drug with us and also cannot take the risk of losing money in case the drug is not sold."
Indian Medical Association says the cocktail drug’s efficacy for Omicron variant of Coronairus has not been scientifically proven, but it is highly effective for the Delta variant. As AP is witnessing both variants --Delta and Omicron -- there is a need to keep the antibody cocktail drug ready for use based on the need, they stressed.
AP witnessed a severe shortage of remdesivir vials during the first and second waves of coronavirus. This had led to its diversion to the black market and a cost escalation of up to a lakh or more per vial. This had forced the state government to carry out raids on private hospitals, book cases and impose penalty.
An official from the drugs control administration said, "As the numbers of both variants are steadily going up, the state government would do well to ensure the availability of a cocktail drug, to be kept either with the government or with the private drug stores, so that there will not be any short supply in case of any huge requirement."
- Each pack of antibody cocktail contains one vial each of Casirivimab and Imdevimab of 1,200mg each, having a total of 2,400mg.