Hyderabad: The Telangana government on 30 April constituted a three-member committee for allocation of Tocilizumab drug to COVID-19 patients in government and private hospitals in the state.

Tocilizumab is an imported drug manufactured by Roche and which is being prescribed for treatment of some COVID-19 patients under certain conditions.

The drug went out of stock in the country a few weeks ago due to a sudden surge in demand following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Fresh limited stock of this drug has now been imported and is available with the lone marketer company Cipla Ltd. for marketing and distribution in the country. An interim allocation of this drug among states has been finalized by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

Telangana has been allocated 210 doses of Tocilizumab.

The committee constitutes the director of Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, director of medical education, and the director of public health and family welfares.

The office of the director of medical education will receive requests for Tocilizumab from hospitals for certain patients which in turn will place it immediately before the committee. "The patient-wise request from hospitals should have a detailed recommendation of a team of three specialist doctors from the hospital, which is indenting the drug, after assessment of the patient's condition," said SAM Rizvi, the secretary of the state health ministry.

The committee will allocate the drug after it is satisfied that the criteria of no active bacterial/fungal/tubercular infection, not improving despite the use of steroids, and significantly raised inflammatory markers and presence of severe disease (preferably within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of severe disease/ICU admission) are met.


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