Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday changed the Remdesivir supply protocol and directed all the hospitals treating patients with the medicine to procure it by sending their own representatives instead of current system of patients’ relatives queuing up at designated sites to get the drug. The new system will come into effect from May 18.
The manner in which the medicine was distributed, lead to chaos and long wait for the relatives of patients, was changed following a meeting between Chief Minister M.K. Stalin with Health and Family Welfare minister M. Subramanian and health secretary J. Radhakrishnan.
The government will set up a dedicated website for the purpose where hospitals treating patients on oxygen support with the drug will have to upload the patient’s details and the required quantity of Remdesivir.
Once the request is reviewed and the medicine allocation is made, the hospital will have to send their own representative to collect it from a designated collection centre. The government will announce details of the website separately.
The Chief Minister also cautioned hospitals to procure the drug to use it only on eligible patients and should charge the patients only the price at which the medicine is supplied to the hospital.
Officers of the Department of Medical and Family Welfare department will keep a tab on the sale of the drug and prevent its black marketing. Legal action will also be initiated against hospitals that seek the drug unnecessarily or do not follow the new protocol, the government said.
The changes came after relatives of patients had to wait in long queues at various Remdesivir supply centres, leading to fears of such crowds becoming another source of spread of Covid-19.
While the government changed the venue to Nehru Indoor Stadium from Kilpauk Medical College to control the crowds, it also witnessed massive crowds.
Over the past week, many relatives of patients had to return empty handed, return again, or wait overnight at these centres, as only a specific quantity of the drug was being supplied each day.
The state government has also issued a treatment protocol for Covid-19 that does not constitute providing Remdesivir injections and a few other drugs for a majority of corona patients.