Shortage of Covid drugs hits treatment in Bathinda, Mansa

Shortage of Covid drugs hits treatment in Bathinda, Mansa

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 12

The acute shortage of enoxaparin injection has been reported at chemist shops in Bathinda and Mansa districts following increased demand in the market recently.

Majority of the drugstores have already run out of it and wholesale dealers said they have not been getting regular supply of the drug for the past 10-12 days. Notably, the drug is administered to moderate-to-critical Covid-19 patients to prevent blood clotting. Besides, dexamethasone, a steroid given to Covid patients, is in short supply. This steroid is quite effective in the treatment of Covid patients and has in the past helped reduce mortality rate.

Families of the patients rued that medicine was the basic thing to treat any disease and arranging only beds and oxygen alone would not save lives.

A senior IMA executive committee member and doctor at a private hospital in Bathinda said: “There is acute shortage of enoxaparin in the market for the past two weeks. As a result, treatment of Covid patients is getting compromised. After exhausting their stock of the medicine, many hospitals are finding it difficult to treat patients. Doctors in some hospitals have started prescribing alternative tablets, which are not as effective. Since there is sudden surge in demand for enoxaparin, there is a possibility that people must be hoarding and black marketing it.”

Many wholesale medicine dealers in the city said they had not been getting the regular supply of the drug and they had no option but to tell chemists to stop placing orders for it. They added that the supply of dexamethasone was also hit hard and with no stock left, many of them had to cancel several orders.

Dr Atin Gupta of another private hospital said: “There is shortage of the medicines, but we have to manage with available resources and make optimum use of them to save as many patients as we can.”

Drug inspector Ramandeep Gupta said: “Following sudden increase in demand, these drugs are in short supply and it is well within the knowledge of the government. There is not much medicine manufacturing in Punjab. States where these drugs are manufactured will give priority for their own people for obvious reasons.” Health Minister Balbir Sidhu did not respond to calls and messages.

Many ‘hoarding’ medicines

  • Chemists have run out of enoxaparin injection usually administered to moderate-to-critical Covid-19 patients to prevent blood clotting
  • Besides, dexamethasone, a steroid quite effective in the treatment of Covid patients, is in short supply
  • A senior IMA executive committee member says since there is a sudden surge in demand for these drugs, there is a possibility that people must be hoarding and black marketing it

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