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Five more companies to manufacture ‘black fungus’ drug

The production capacity of these companies was extremely limited in April 2021 but is now being ramped up.

Five more companies to manufacture ‘black fungus’ drug
The Union health ministry and department of pharmaceuticals have reached out to the five domestic manufacturers to prepone some of the production so that additional supplies could begin in June 2021.

With the incidence of ‘black fungus’ cases rising across the country and patients facing a shortage of Amphotericin-B drug used to treat the disease, the government on Friday said licence has been given to five more manufactures for production of Amphotericin-B, used in the treatment of black fungus infection.

These five companies are NATCO Pharmaceuticals, Hyderabad; Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara; Gufic Biosciences, Gujarat; Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Pune and Lyka, Gujarat. There are five existing manufacturers of the drug in the country – Bharat Serums & Vaccines, BDR Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma, Cipla and Life Care Innovations. In addition, there is Mylan Labs, which only imports this drug. The production capacity of these companies was extremely limited in April 2021 but is now being ramped up.

The Union health ministry and department of pharmaceuticals have reached out to the five domestic manufacturers to prepone some of the production so that additional supplies could begin in June 2021. The government said it was planning to ramp up supply and availability of the drug as several states and union territories have reported an increase in number of patients suffering from Covid complications in the form of Mucormycosis and a reported shortage of the anti-fungal drug Amphotericin-B.

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 June 2021. Around 3,63,000 vials of this anti-fungal drug are going to be imported in May 2021. This would take the total availability to 5,26,752 vials.

Another 3,15,000 vials will be imported in June 2021. Along with the domestic supply, the countrywide availability of Amphotericin-B will be enhanced to 5,70,114 vials in June 2021. Cumulatively, these companies will start producing 1,11,000 vials of Amphotericin-B per month from July 2021.

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