‘We are all living this hell’: Delhi HC to plea on black fungus drug shortage

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday, during the hearing of pleas in connection with shortage of medicine for black fungus, observed that the situation is similar to “living hell”, and though court is willing to help patients facing issues with procurement of medicine, but is “helpless”.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said: “We are living this hell. Everyone is living this hell. It’s a situation where we want to help but we are helpless.”
As it was informed that steps are being taken by the Central government to procure 2.30 lakh vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B from six countries, the bench queried what made the government fix this number, and emphasised the requirement of the medicine is much more, against the backdrop of several cases reported in the country.
The bench said: “We are only expressing out anxiety because of the proportions this thing is assuming… the effort here is to save lives and every hour matters.”
The court made these observations while hearing two pleas seeking medicine vials for two patients admitted in the national capital for black fungus infection.
It said it cannot pass any order giving preference to a patient for treatment while denying it to others.
The Centre informed the High Court there are 423 patients of black fungus in Delhi and the Health Ministry on May 24 has called upon the Ministry of External Affairs to take steps to procure 230,000 vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B from Germany, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Belgium and China.
The Centre said domestic production capacity of Amphotericin B injection in May was 140,000 and in June, it is expected to be 325,114, and cited the shortage of raw material as the main hurdle in granting more licences for manufacture of the drug.

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