Haryana government issues directions for restricted sale of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab

CHANDIGARH: Haryana’s Food and Drugs Administration Department on Wednesday issued directions for restricted sale and distribution of drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab used to treat patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms in a bid to stop its irrational use.

A department spokesperson said that keeping in view the emergency and unmet medical need for COVID-19 disease, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) had approved restricted emergency use of Remdesivir injectable formulations for treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 infection.

He said the government has also issued directions that Remdesivir formulations are required to be sold under the prescription of medical specialists only.

Further, Remdesivir formulations are required to be supplied for use only to the hospital/institutions to ensure proper use of the drugs as recommended, he said in a statement.

The spokesperson said it has come to the notice of the department that some doctors are irrationally prescribing the Remdesivir injection, which is approved as an emergency drug by Drugs Controller General of India and to be used only for coronavirus patients in ICU beds/ventilator.

“Therefore, it should not be prescribed by doctors for patients not admitted in hospitals or home isolated patients, having no ICU/ventilators and not prescribed for conditions for which these drugs are not approved,” he said.

The spokesperson said all the sellers of these drugs have been directed to send the details of all purchases and distributions to the State Drugs Controller, Haryana in the office of Commissioner, Food and Drugs Administration, Panchkula.

Besides, they have been directed to restrict sales to dedicated COVID-19 hospitals only, which have ICU beds and critical care facility provided for management of such patients.

The spokesperson further said any unauthorised sale of Remdesivir or Tocilizumab is punishable under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for which drug licenses may be suspended or cancelled.

Besides, any black marketing/hoarding of these drugs are cognisable and punishable offences for which stringent action of registration of FIR will be taken.