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Five more Indian firms get licences to manufacture anti-fungal drug

Laboratory. Stock Photo: fernando zhiminaicela/Pixabay

New Delhi, May 21 (MNN) The Indian government said on Friday that it was making efforts ramp up production of Amphotericin-B used in the treatment of mucormycosis or black fungus, including licences to five companies to manufacture the drug.

It said that the efforts come in the wake of reports from several states and UTs on increasing number of patients suffering from COVID complications in the form of black fungus and reported shortage of Amphotericin-B.

Those given the licences to manufacture the anti-fungal drug are NATCO Pharmaceuticals, Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Gufic Biosciences Ltd, Emcure Pharmaceuticals and Lyka.

These companies will start producing 1,11,000 vials per month from July 2021.

The Health Ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals were trying to proactively facilitate these five manufacturers to prepone some of this production so that additional supplies begin in June 2021.

There are currently five manufacturers of Amphotericin-B in the country at present, apart from one importer: Bharat Serums and Vaccines Ltd, BDR Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharma Ltd, Cipla Ltd, Life Care Innovations, and Mylan Labs (importer).

Their combined production capacity of these companies was extremely limited in April 2021, but as a result of handholding by the Indian government would 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, the government said.
Efforts are also on to supplement domestic availability of this anti-fungal drug through import. In May 2021, 3,63,000 vials of Amphotericin-B will be imported, thereby ensuring availability of 5,26752 vials in the country.

As many as 3,15,000 vials will be imported in June 2021, increasing Amphotericin-B availability to 5,70,114 vials in June 2021.

The Health Ministry and Ministry of External Affairs is also actively exploring other global sources of the drug.

The Indian government said that it was proactively supporting various states and UTs to ensure adequate availability of medicines, medical equipment, PPE kits, masks etc since April 2020.

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