KGMU runs out of HCV drug stock, patients suffer

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Lucknow, June 20 (IANS) With medicines out of stock, patients suffering from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) who come to King George’s Medical University (KGMU) here, hoping to receive free treatment for their condition, are being forced to turn back or purchase medicines from the open market at a cost of around Rs 8,000-10,000.

Patients in advanced stages of liver cirrhosis require two critical drugs for their treatment. Currently, approximately 200-250 HCV patients are undergoing treatment at KGMU and an equal number of new patients are registered here on a monthly basis.

The university receives drugs from the Centre under the National Health Mission (NHM), but the existing stock is only sufficient for old patients.

Officials mentioned that the new stock was expected to arrive 30 days ago but did not. KGMU officials have submitted a request letter to the NHM addressing the urgent need to replenish the medicine stock.

A typical course of treatment for HCV at KGMU lasts three months, which emphasizes the importance of timely arrival of the medicine to begin treatment for new patients.

Nodal officer for the Hepatitis control campaign at KGMU, Prof Sumit Rungta explained that the current stock of medicine is inadequate to meet the demands of both existing and new Hepatitis C patients.

“We are distributing medication solely to registered patients, ensuring their treatment remains uninterrupted.”

Unfortunately, this situation has left new patients disappointed and in urgent need of treatment.

When contacted, the nodal officer for the state Hepatitis control programme, Vikasendu Agrawal said: “The demand has been made to the Central government and fresh stock is likely to arrive from Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and West Bengal in a day or two.”

He said that he was not aware of the exact reason for the delay, but it could be an issue in the supply chain or tendering process.



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