India’s Struggle Against Black Fungus, Shortage Of Amphotericin B Adds To Trouble

In less than a month, the cases of Black Fungus got multifold raising the need to procure more Liposomal Amphotericin B. The injections are found effective in the treatment of covid-19 patients with mucormycosis. However, India is gradually falling short on this life-saving drug.

America Ties With India Against Black Fungus

black fungus drug manufacturer
via:medscape

Gilead Sciences, an American firm, is at the help after Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed officials to “Procure the drug from anywhere in the world.” India will receive 1 million doses in the second batch after getting 1, 21,000 vials earlier from the biopharmaceutical firm.

But, Will this solve India’s rising need?

Also Read: Black Fungus And Diabetes: How This Rare Deadly Fungus Is Killing Covid Patients?

Considering Delhi’s rising cases and lack of injections, it is difficult to answer. But what has led to the shortage of this important black fungus medicine?

Why Domestic Production Of Black-Fungus Drugs Is Taking Time?

amphotericin b injection
via:mymahanagar

Import of Black Fungus drugs from foreign countries is a possible option right now. But, India is also working on increasing its in-house production. Around 5 drug manufacturing companies have received a license to produce Liposomal Amphotericin B. However, the trouble is even more because of limited raw materials.

Also Read: India Will Face Vaccine Shortage Till July Says Serum Institute CEO

Shortage Of Raw Materials

black fungus drugs
via:dnaindia

India will not get the drugs so early even if the companies start production now. This is because of the shortage of raw materials and the time it takes to get ready. It takes around 21 days for production and a few more for the sterility test.

Moreover, the two most important raw materials that are active pharmaceutical ingredients and synthetic lipids fall short on supply. The shortage can fall deeper because lipid is also necessary for the production of mRNA vaccines.

On the other hand, India is solely dependent on VAV Life Sciences for the continuous supply of lipid for making Black Fungus drug. This is a huge burden on the company as it can only produce 21 kg per month.

Considering all these limitations, India only depends on the import of Liposomal Amphotericin B to meet the current need. Even though the country will receive a million doses very soon, the demand will further increase.

Top 5 States With 65% Black Fungus Cases

black fungus
via:aljazeera

The Black Fungus cases are rising rapidly. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Gujarat are the top 5 states with the most number of cases of mucormycosis.

Overall, around 11,717 cases are reported across the country and these 5 states hold 65 percent of the total numbers. Here’s the latest list by Union Minister Sadananda Gowda:

India is facing double trouble of Covid-19 and Fungal Infection. If the shortage of black fungus drugs is not met on time, the conditions can get worse.

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