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Centre allocates 45,000 vials of COVID-19 drug Tocilizumab to states, UTs

Around 9,900 vials (200 mg) of Tocilizumab were allocated to states and UTs on April 30; 50,024 vials, received through donations, were allotted to states and UTs on Monday

Manoj Sharma | May 12, 2021 | Updated 12:33 IST
Centre allocates 45,000 vials of COVID-19 drug Tocilizumab to states, UTs
Tocilizumab is not manufactured in India and is sourced from Swiss pharmaceutical firm Hoffman La Roche

The Centre has allocated 45,000 vials of Tocilizumab (80mg strength), used in the treatment of COVID-19, to states and union territories to meet the increased demand, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda said on Tuesday. Around 9,900 vials (200 mg) of Tocilizumab were allocated to states and UTs on April 30.

"The allocated vials are being placed at the disposal of the health department of state governments/UTs for subsequent allocation to both the government as well as private hospitals of the concerned state," a circular by Rajiv Wadhawan, director, health ministry, and Navdeep Rinwa, joint secretary, department of pharmaceuticals, stated.

Besides these two allocations, another 50,024 vials, received through donations, were allotted to states and UTs on Monday, it said. Tocilizumab is not manufactured in India and is sourced from Swiss pharmaceutical firm Hoffman La Roche, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said.

Also read: No compulsory licensing for Remdesivir, Tocilizumab

Notably, in a goodwill gesture, Roche donated around 50,000 vials (80 mg strength) for COVID-19 patients in India through the Indian Red Cross Society on May 10, which was allocated by the Centre to states/UTs and central government hospitals, the health ministry said in a statement.

"A quantity of 40,000 vials out of 45,000 vials has been kept at the disposal of state governments/UTs, which in turn will cater to the needs of patients both in government hospitals and private hospitals in their states/UTs," Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda said.

The states have been advised to widely publicise the mechanism of allotment of this drug in their states to the general public so the needy patients and private hospitals know and can approach concerned authorities of the state if they require the drug.

The states have also been advised to take all measures to prevent hoarding and black marketing and ensure that the drug is used very judiciously and strictly as per the National clinical management protocol for COVID-19 patients.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccine: Govt issues company-wise supply plan of Remdesivir to states, UTs

Also read: Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute to invest 240 mn pounds to expand vaccine business in UK

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