The Telangana government today formed an expert committee that would oversee the allocation of Tocilizumab injections to patients undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at both government and private healthcare facilities in the state.
The three-member team, comprising NIMS Director Dr K Manohar, Medical Education Director Dr Ramesh Reddy and Public Health and Family Welfare Director Dr G Srinivasa Rao, will allocate the injections after receiving requests for Tocilizumab from particular hospitals.
The requests will reportedly have to present a detailed justification of a patient who needs the drug by a team of three specialist doctors from the hospital seeking the same.
After scrutinising the report, which needs to clearly show that the patient in question is not afflicted by active bacterial or fungal infection or tuberculosis, is not showing any improvement despite treatment using steroids, and is showing marked spikes in inflammatory markers like IL-6 as well the presence of severe disease, the expert team will finally allocate Tocilizumab for treatment.
Further, doctors have been instructed to try and make the request within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of severe disease or of ICU admission.
Tocilizumab is similar to Remdesivir, and has been okayed for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for COvid19 treatment by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, headed by Dr Harsh Vardhan.
This particular process has been put in place to prevent the black-marketing and misuse of the drug by any person, a phenomenon that led to a severe shortage of Remdesivir
in Telangana recently.