Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, April 23
Antiviral drugs are not available in local chemist shops following a sharp rise in Covid cases in Kangra district and hoarding by people. These medicines are prescribed to coronavirus patients who have developed serious complications.
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Mahesh, a resident of Palampur, said that an elderly member of his family suffering from Covid complications was prescribed Favipirvar 400 mg. However, he could not find the medicine in any medical store of Palampur. Thereafter, he placed an order for the drug in Jalandhar and got it transported to his place in an HRTC bus, he added.
Enquires by The Tribune from various drug stores in Dharamsala revealed that Favipirvar and Remdesivir, both antiviral drugs being prescribed by doctors to Covid patients, were not available at any medical store.
Chemist shop owners are blaming hoarding of the two drugs by local residents and their increased demand in other parts of the country for their shortage in Kangra. A shop owner said, “There was no shortage of Favipirvar 400 mg about a week ago, as local doctors rarely prescribed it. However, its demand increased over the past one week. The stock of the medicine with me is over. I have placed an order for it but am yet to get the supply”.
The local drug store owners said that they were not getting the supply of Remdesivir injections. Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Rakesh Prajapati said, “There is no shortage of Remdesivir or Favipirvar drugs in Tanda medical college or any other government facility created for Covid patients in the district. We have ample stocks of the drugs”. Asked why the drugs are not available in the market, he said that he would look into the matter.
State Drug Controller Navneet Marwah said that the demand of the two antiviral drugs had gone up in many parts of the country, leading to their shortage in chemist stores in some parts of Himachal. However, there were ample supplies of these medicines in all government facilities. “If we receive a complaint about the shortage of the two antiviral medicines, we can ensure their supply as these are being manufactured in the state,” he said.
Sources said that as most of the Covid patients were staying in home isolation, the trend of self-medication had increased. Due to the fear of developing complications, many people were hoarding Remdesivir or Favipirvar, creating their artificial shortage in the market.
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