The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that it will be streamlining the sale of Remdesivir, a drug used during treatment for COVID-19, by launching a web portal to take requests for the drug directly from private hospitals. This will come into practice from May 18. Once the medicine is alloted, a representative from the hospital can collect the medicine, as per the release, and can only be given to patients on oxygen support.
The DMK government has stated that this decision was taken due to a variety of reasons. The first is the overcrowding and lack of physical distancing witnessed at venues where the drug was sold. The second reason was that several persons buying the drugs were attempting to make more money by selling them in the black market and third, the government also out that the World Health Organisation had observed that the drug is helpful for those on oxygen support and not necessarily for every patient undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
The press release states that details regarding how to apply for an allotment of the medicine will be shared soon. Hospitals have been adviced to adopt caution while giving the drug to patients and only using it for those who really need it. The Health Department will also be monitoring the requests to ensure there is no sale of the drug in the black market.
This announcement from the government comes a day after absolute chaos unfolded at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, as hundreds of relatives of people who had contracted COVID-19 stormed into the venue to get hold of the anti-viral drug.
Remdesivir has been in high demand in the state despite several doctors, experts and even government authorities clarifying that it is not a life saving drug.
The sales at the Nehru Stadium counter began on Saturday in an effort to prevent overcrowding in Kilpauk Medical college where the drug was initially sold.