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Delhi High Court Says Remdesivir Should Be Made Available Not Merely To Hospitalized Patients but Even to Those Who May Be in Home Isolation

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Facts of the Case 

The petitioner was detected with COVID-19 on 13th April 2021. Since the Petitioner’s condition was not improving in-home isolation, he was admitted to Rescue Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi. Through the CT scan, he was found to be suffering from pneumonia. On 21st April 2021, the Petitioner has prescribed Remdesivir injection (100 mg) to be given in six doses. Six days have already passed by however he has been able to arrange only three doses from outside market sources. The Petitioner submits that he requires three more vials for his treatment. 

Court’s Observations

The Court noticed that the citizens of Delhi have been facing acute frustration and harassment due to the non-availability of Remdesivir, which is a prescribed drug for COVID-19 patients. It was also noted that seven companies are manufacturing Remdesivir in India. During the period from January 2021 to March 2021 owing to the low level of patients who required the drug, a large quantity of the drugs was not being utilized. However, the sudden second wave has led to an acute shortage of the drug. Also, Delhi has no production unit for the same and has to only go by allocations that have been made for Delhi. 

Court’s Judgment

GNCTD submitted that three vials required would be made available as soon as possible. Further, considering the thousands of patients who may need the said drug the Court believes that the availability of the drug in Delhi ought to be looked at holistically to avoid the future filing of multiple writ petitions. Moreover, since obtaining admission in hospitals has become so difficult, most patients are having teleconsultations with the doctors. Thus, Remdesivir may have to be made available not merely for hospitalized patients but even to those who may be in home isolation.

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