Black fungus | Centre to ramp up production, availability of Amphotericin-B drug

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Published: May 21,2021 04:02 PM
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Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday said the Central government will make proactive efforts for significantly ramping up domestic production of Amphotericin-B drug, an anti-fungal drug

May 21, 2021: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday said the Central government will make proactive efforts for significantly ramping up domestic production of Amphotericin-B drug, an anti-fungal drug for the treatment of black fungus disease.



“Union Ministry of Health along with Department of Pharmaceuticals and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is making proactive efforts for significantly ramping up domestic production of Amphotericin-B drug,” the ministry said.



The Union Government has also made effective efforts in supplementing the domestic availability through securing supply from global manufacturers.



The health ministry said in recent days, several states and UTs have reported an increasing number of patients suffering from COVID complications in the form of mucormycosis, popularly known as a black fungus.



“There is also a reported shortage of Amphotericin-B, an anti-fungal drug used for the treatment of the black fungus disease,” it said.



According to the health ministry, there are five existing manufacturers– Bharat Serums & Vaccines Ltd, BDR Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharma Ltd, Cipla Ltd and Life Care Innovations of Amphotericin-B in the country and one importer– Mylan Labs.



“The production capacity of these companies was extremely limited in the month of April 2021. As a result of the handholding by the Government of India, these domestic manufactures will cumulatively produce 1,63,752 vials of Amphotericin-B in May 2021. This will be further ramped up to 2,55,114 vials in the month of June 2021,” the ministry said.



Apart from this, efforts are being made for supplementing the domestic availability of this anti-fungal drug through import. In May 2021, 3,63,000 vials of Amphotericin-B will be imported, thereby resulting in total availability in the country (inclusive of the domestic production) of 5,26752 vials.



It said 3,15,000 vials will be imported in June 2021. Hence, along with the domestic supply, the countrywide availability of Amphotericin-B will be enhanced to 5,70,114 vials in June 2021.



The ministry said five more manufacturers have been given the licence to produce the anti-fungal drug within the country.



“These are — NATCO Pharmaceuticals, Hyderabad, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara, Gufic Biosciences Ltd, Gujarat, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Pune and Lyka, Gujarat,” it said.



Cumulatively, these companies will start producing 1,11,000 vials of Amphotericin-B per month from July 2021. The Union Health Ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals are together trying to proactively facilitate these five manufacturers to prepone some of this production so that these additional supplies begin in June 2021.



The ministry also said in collaboration with MEA it is also actively exploring other global sources from where the Amphotericin-B drug can be imported.



“Union Health Ministry is also trying to procure other antifungal drugs which can be used in the treatment of black fungus,” it said.



The government of India has been supporting states and UTs in procuring drugs and diagnostics for COVID-19 management through a “Whole of Government” approach. (ANI)