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Coronavirus | Centre allots fresh stock of Tocilizumab to States

The drug is expensive and Cipla is its sole distributor in India.

The Centre on Wednesday said the Union Health Ministry has allocated a fresh lot of imported drug Tocilizumab, used for treatment of COVID-19, to the States.

Though the drug, like antiviral Remdesivir, has not been proven to confer significant benefit on those severely afflicted by the coronavirus, it is prescribed by doctors to reduce inflammation that results from a cytokine storm, when the body could go into a toxic hyperdrive in an effort to stem the infection.

The drug is expensive and Cipla is its sole distributor in India. The drug went out of stock in the last few weeks and has been replenished in limited quantities, according to a note from the Ministry of Health.

States have been allotted fixed quotas. Maharashtra has been allotted the highest quantity, 800, followed by Delhi at 500. Most States have got between 25 and 200 units of the drug. The States will further distribute them to government and private hospitals. There are no separate allocations for private hospitals.

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