Srinagar: The anti-viral drug Remdesivir has finally arrived at the premier SK Institute of medical sciences here, three days after Kashmir Observer reported shortage of the vital drug at the tertiary care hospital.
Director, SKIMS Dr A G Ahangar told Kashmir Observer that they have received 500 doses and more were arriving within a few days.
Doctors in Kashmir have maintained that the drug is “vital” and reduces the risk of death among Covid-19 patients. However, according to reports the cost of drugs is too high that poor men can hardly afford.
On July 18, Kashmir Observer published a news report about the shortage of the vital drug at the SKIMS and the panic caused by the unavailability of the drug among the patients.
Dr Ahangar said that the drug will cost around 30,000 and they will provide it with no-profit-no loss.
“I don’t know the exact cost but it might cost around 30,000” he said.
When asked if it was affordable he said “we are selling it on company cost and whether it is too costly or less costly, I can’t say,” he added.
The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) also said the drug is unaffordable for poor patients.
“Because of high cost, Remdesivir is out of reach for poor people” said, DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
“It is a five day treatment. The loading dose of 200 mg (shot) on day 1 is followed by 100 mg (shot) daily for 4 days (total 5 days),” he added.
Dr Nisar said each vial of Remdesivir costs between Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,400. Thus for a five day treatment, a patient has to pay anywhere between Rs 24,000 and Rs 32,400 as the cost of the drug.
“The price makes it inaccessible to those patients who desperately need it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr. Farooq A. Jan told Kashmir Observer that they wouldn’t be providing the drug to any outsider but only to the patients admitted in the institute.
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