New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Delhi government drug controller on Thursday informed the high court that Gautam Gambhir's foundation has been found guilty of non-authorised stocking, procuring and distributing Fabiflu medicine used for Covid-19 patients.The drug controller informed the Delhi High Court that action will be taken against Gambhir's foundation, drug dealers, as well as other such cases which were brought to its notice. The drug controller also informed the court that MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty of similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The court asked the drug controller to submit a status report on progress made in these cases within six weeks. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on July 29.On May 31, the Delhi High Court had said it cannot be taken for a ride, as it pulled up the drug controller, for not properly probing the issues involved with procurement of huge quantity of Fabiflu, used in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, by BJP MP Gautam Gambhir.A bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh had said: "You can't take us for a ride. If you think we are so naive, we are not." Slamming the drug controller, the bench added, "You better do your job. If you can't do your job, tell us, we will have you suspended and let someone else do your job."Rejecting the status report filed by the drug controller, the court said its confidence in the drug controller was shaken. The report was filed in connection with its probe into procurement of the medicine by cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir.The court noted it was well-known that the essential Covid drug was in short supply. However, Gambhir purchased several strips of the medicine; and others, who needed it, could not get it, the bench added. "You (drug controller) are wrong to say it was not in short supply. You want us to shut our eyes. You think you would get away with this," said the bench.The high court did not mince words in criticizing recent statement by Gambhir stating that he will continue to do such work. The bench said: "We have already said it is a malpractice. This tendency of people trying to take advantage and then trying to appear as a saviour when they themselves created the problem, has to be denounced."The court also examined the report in connection with the allegations against AAP MLAs Priti Tomar and Praveen Kumar for hoarding of medical oxygen. The report in connection with allegations against Tomar was accepted by the court, however, it trashed the reports in connection with Gambhir and Kumar. The court gave three days to the drug controller of the Delhi government to file better reports.The court was hearing a PIL seeking registration of a case on the allegations that politicians are able to procure in huge quantities and distribute Covid-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them amid a brutal second wave of the pandemic.--IANSss/in
New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) The Centre on Tuesday said that the supply-demand balance of Covid-19 treatment drugs across the country has been stabilised, while the production of anti-viral drug Remdesivir used in the treatment of the deadly disease has been ramped up 10 times.Union Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda made the announcement, citing the2 consistent efforts of the government to augment domestic production of Covid-19 drugs."Government's efforts resulted in a stabilised supply-demand balance of Covid treatment drugs across the country," he said.Noting that a total 98.87 lakh vials of Remdesivir were allocated to states, UTs and central institutions from April 21 to May 30, Gowda said: "Production of Remdesivir has been ramped up ten times leading to enough supply than the demand. With the accelerated production, we are planning to supply up to 91 lakh vials up to the end of June." The Minister also said that Cipla has imported 11,000 vials of 400 mg and 50,000 vials of 80 mg of Tocilizumab from April 25-May 30 this year.In addition, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received 1,002 vials of 400 mg and 50,024 vials of 80 mg Tocilizumab via donation in May. Further, 20,000 vials of 80 mg and 1000 vials of 200 mg are likely to arrive in June, Gowda said.Also, 2,70,060 vials of Amphotericin B have been allocated to states and UTs and central institutions from May 11 to May 30 this year."This is in addition to the supplies of 81,651 vials that had been made by manufacturers to states in the first week of May," he said.Gowda stated that the production, supply and stock position of other drugs used in treatment of Covid, such as Dexamethasone, Methylprednisolone, Enoxaparin, Favipiravir, Ivermectin, Dexamethasone tablets is also being reviewed weekly."The production has been augmented and stocks are available to meet demand," he said.He also assured that the government is continuously reviewing the availability of Covid-19 treatment drugs with existing and new manufacturers to enable the demand for the drug to be met.--IANSrak/vd
New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has announced that it has received permission for restricted emergency use of its antibody drugs, bamlanivimab 700mg and etesevimab 1400mg, in India for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate coronavirus disease.Bamlanivimab and etesevimab together are indicated for restricted use in emergency situation, IV route for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus disease for injection administration in hospital settings.The injection can be administered in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with RT-PCR positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization and do not require oxygen.Lilly is engaging in active dialogue with the Indian government and regulatory authorities to donate bamlanivimab and etesevimab in order to speed up access and provide treatment options for patients with COVID-19, the company said in a statement.Bamlanivimab and etesevimab together have been authorized under Emergency Use Authorization in the US and select EU countries, for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.Speaking about its benefits for patients with COVID-19, Luca Visini, Managing Director, India Subcontinent, Lilly India, said, "We are pleased that we have another innovative treatment option to offer India's healthcare providers who continue to be at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. Lilly is committed to contributing to the alleviation of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and around the world. We will continue to assess and evaluate how our existing portfolio and ongoing research can benefit patients with COVID-19."Earlier in May, Lilly had also received permission for the emergency use of baricitinib in combination with Remdesivir, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Since then, Lilly has already made available a donation of more than 650,000 tablets of Baricitinib to the Indian government and issued eight voluntary licenses to Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers of generic medicines to accelerate and expand the availability of baricitinib to patients in India.-IANSsn/skp/
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said there is a severe shortage of the medicines needed to treat at least 944 people undergoing treatment for mucormycosis or black fungus in Delhi's hospitals.There may have been a decrease in cases of coronavirus infections in Delhi but hundreds of people are still suffering from black fungus. According to the Delhi government, medicines were being made available to it in a limited quantity by the Central government.Giving information about the cases of black fungus, Kejriwal said nearly 944 cases of black fungus have been reported in Delhi, of these nearly 300 patients are being treated in various Central government-run hospitals here.Kejriwal said nearly 650 patients with black fungus are undergoing treatment in Delhi government-run hospitals. However, there is a shortage of injections needed to treat patients suffering from black fungus in Delhi government-run hospitals.On Saturday, nearly 1,000 injections were supplied to Delhi. This number is quite low because a single patient receives three to four vaccine jabs in a day. No vaccines were supplied to the national capital on Sunday.Meanwhile, the unlocking process started in Delhi from Monday with people facing some difficulty in getting an e-pass for reporting to office.Responding to these problems, the Chief Minister said whatever problems the citizens of Delhi are facing will be rectified soon."I saw that there were glitches while accessing e-passes on the Delhi government's portal. The problem will be fixed. As we get feedback from people about things causing inconvenience to them, we will fix the glitches," Kejriwal added.Kejriwal on Monday also opened a free vaccination centre for inoculating journalists and their families at Rajkiya Sarvodaya Bal Kanya Vidyalaya, Mata Sundri Road, New Delhi. Journalists and their families from age group of 18 to 44 years and above 45 years can get vaccinated at this centre and will also be able to register themselves on the spot."I am very happy that this arrangement has been launched in a government school on Monday. Both Hindi and English journalists and their families between age group of 18 to 44 years and above 45 years can come here and get vaccinated," Kejriwal said.Registration will be done on the spot to receive vaccine jabs. "I appeal to all journalists and their families that they should come in large numbers so that everyone gets vaccinated." --IANSgcb-anm/khz/bg
Chandigarh, May 27 (IANS) With 188 cases of mucormycosis or black fungus reported in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered to ramp-up stocks of alternate drugs to treat the disease in view of the shortage of Amphotericin.With only Liposomal Amphotericin B injections in the stock and just 880 more Liposomal expected to be received shortly, the Chief Minister stressed the need to strengthen alternate drug stocks, as recommended by the expert group constituted by his government to deal with the crisis.Stressing the need to ensure that every patient has a chance to recover from black fungus, a disease reportedly caused by overuse of steroids in Covid-19 patients, especially those suffering from diabetes, the Chief Minister said along with efforts to get more of the Amphotericin drug, the state has already made available the alternate drugs -- Itraconazole (4,000 tablets) and Posaconazole (500 tablets) -- as suggested by the expert group.He also noted with satisfaction that the six-member expert group constituted has begun its task of advising hospitals on the treatment protocols and the use of various drugs being supplied to them.Health Secretary Hussan Lal said of the 188 cases, 40 were not related to Covid, while 148 were of Covid-infected persons with 133 having been on steroid therapy and 122 on oxygen support prior to onset of mucormycosis.As many as 154 had diabetes, 56 were immunocompromised and 47 comorbid. A total of 156 are currently under treatment, nine have been cured and 23 have died.--IANSvg/pgh
Sydney, May 25 (IANS) Scientists from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia's Queensland have developed two new drugs to both prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19 infection, and also treat people who have been exposed to the virus so they do not develop severe disease.The two early intervention drugs target how human cells respond to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, instead of the virus itself, according to the findings published in the journal Nature Cell Discovery.The first peptide-based drug would be given pre-exposure to the virus and help boost the efficacy of vaccines, while the second drug would stop the spread of the virus in already infected cells.Laboratory tests show the first peptide-based drug reduces infection by cloaking the ACE2 receptor protein on human cells. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein uses the ACE2 receptor to bind to and invade cells. The virus then latches onto the cloaking peptides, which they mistake for human cells -- preventing infection.The lab tests have also shown that if the virus finds its way into cells, the second peptide-drug can block how the virus hijacks the host cell and replicates. It also boosts the immune system's ability to recognise the virus.Professor Sudha Rao, head of QIMR Berghofer's Gene Regulation and Translational Medicine Group, said they were able to develop the drugs after discovering that some people have a chemical tag which acts like a padlock on the ACE2 receptor."The tag can either keep the receptor locked or open -- controlling infection. This means people who have the 'padlock-like' tag on their ACE2 receptors will be less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and those without the tag are more vulnerable to infection," Rao said."Our drugs stop the tag from being removed and also protect the untagged ACE2 receptors from being infected."The researchers also discovered that if the virus invaded the cells, it would unlock the tag from the inside -- allowing more efficient virus replication.The drugs are also stable and can be stored at room temperature, which would make them easy to distribute.The research was conducted on Covid-19 patient blood and human cells and the drugs are now being tested in hamsters at France's pre-clinical and clinical research facility, IDMIT, with promising early results showing they are not toxic and have few side effects.--IANSrvt/vd
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