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Black fungus scare: Govt engaging with drug makers to ramp up production of anti-fungal drug Amphotericin B

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New Delhi, May 12: The government is engaging with the drug manufacturers to ramp up the production of an antifungal drug used for the treatment of mucormycosis, the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry said, as a rash of cases of rare black fungus infection have been reported among people either recovered or recovering from COVID-19.

With a spike in the cases of COVID-19 in the country, doctors have been reporting a rare infection mucormycosis, also called as black fungus, among people recovered from COVID-19.

Black fungus scare: Govt engaging with drug makers to ramp up production of anti-fungal drug for mucormycosis

The infection is caused by exposure to mucor mould and it affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening.

"A sudden increase in demand has been observed in some states for Amphotericin B which is being actively prescribed by the physicians to patients suffering from mucormycosis, a post-COVID complication," the ministry said in a statement.

The government is therefore engaging with the manufacturers to ramp up production of the drug. The supply position is expected to improve with extra imports of this drug and increase in its production domestically, it added.

"After reviewing the stock position with the manufacturers/importers, and the demand pattern of Amphotericin B, the Department of Pharma, has on 11th May, 2021 , allocated this drug amongst the States/UTs based on expected supply that will be available from May 10 to May 31, 2021," the statement said.

States have been requested to put in place a mechanism for equitable distribution of supplies amongst government and private hospitals and health care agencies, it added.

States have also been requested to publicise in the state the ''Point of Contact'' for private and government hospitals to obtain the drug from this allocation, the statement said.

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    "The arrangements for supply will be monitored by the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA)," it added.

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