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Use remdesivir judiciously: IMA tells doctors, urges public not to panic

In a statement, IMA said the public as well as the medical community must be aware of the absolute indication of the drug and the need to use it judiciously so that it is used for those patients who will be benefitted.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Tuesday said the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for remedsivir injection, resulting in demand and supply mismatch and an artificial panic has been created. This is resulting because of the non-judicious use of this drug in many places beyond the scope of its evidence-based benefits, it said.

In a statement, IMA said the public as well as the medical community must be aware of the absolute indication of the drug and the need to use it judiciously so that it is used for those patients who will be benefitted.

As per ‘Clinical Management Protocol Covid–19’ released by the Centre, remdesivir (under Emergency Use Authorization) has no role for the mild cases and may be considered in patients with moderate disease (those on oxygen), IMA retiterated.

IMA president Dr J A Jayalal said early diagnosis on the pretext of contact or presumptive symptoms and immediate consultation with the doctor or hospital is the need for early recovery in Covid-19.

Remedisivir is given in the first week of infection when there is an exponential rise of viral markers with moderate to severe symptoms, and it does yield a total benefit for the patient’s recovery.

Dr Jayalal said the government has put a cap on the cost of remedisivir making it available at a lesser cost compared to 2020. The affordability of the drug makes the public demand its use for their kith and kin, even when there is not an absolute indication to use, he said.

This unjustified request must be resisted by the medical professionals as the availability of the drug will be more beneficial to patients who have an absolute indication, Dr Jayalal said.

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In times of crisis, the demand to give the drug on cost benefit ratio is not an accepted theory, he said. The patients who will be benefited absolutely by the administration of remedisivir alone must be provided the drug. It is the social responsibility of the citizens and medical ethics of the professional to maintain the availability of this drug for the citizens of the country, Dr Jayalal added.

The IMA has urged citizens to adhere to appropriate use of masks as it is equal to receiving a vaccine. IMA also urged people to venture out only when it is absolutely necessary and adopt social distancing and hand washing in all situations.

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