The Delhi government has set up a four-member technical expert committee (TEC) to prevent the indiscriminate use of Amphotericin-B injection and to establish a transparent and efficient system of distribution of this drug to the needy and hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
The drug is used in the treatment of black fungus or mucormycosis and is currently in short supply.
Hospitals in Delhi have reported a rise in the number of back fungus cases among people recovering from COVID-19 during the second wave and it could be ascribed to "irrational" use of steroids at home without consulting a doctor.
The expert committee will be headed by Pulmonologist Dr MK Daga, and include Dr Manisha Aggarwal, Dr S Anuradha and Dr Ravi Mehar from Maulana Azad Medical College.
All COVID-19 hospitals requiring Amphotericin-B for treatment of patients will have to apply to the experts committee which will meet twice a day to scrutinise these applications and facilitate rapid decision making "as time is of the essence in such cases", according to an order issued by the health department.
"The guiding principles for TEC (technical expert committee) shall be evidence-based clinically approved parameters as well as principles of equity, distributive justice and transparency," the order read.
The Directorate General of Health Services should coordinate with the technical expert committee and facilitate rapid decision making and also monitor the overall management of the drug from approval till delivery to the hospital concerned, it said.
The decision of daily meetings will be conveyed to all the stakeholders through e-mail and reasons for refusal will be written and informed to the requisitioning hospitals.
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