The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has notified the Delhi High Court that the drug Liposomal Amphotericin B is not the only pharmaceutical available for the treatment of mucormycosis while proposing a policy on its distribution.
Other amphotericin formulations are also available, according to the ICMR, and they can be administered with “supplementary medicines to decrease harmful effects."
Advocate Kirtiman Singh, appearing for the Centre, said that states where the best potential medications and treatments for black fungus infections are not accessible were also treating mucormycosis."
“We are in a city where we are used to having the best. In the other states, the caseload [black fungus] is higher. They are using alternative therapies. In the states where they are not used to having the best possible therapies, they are still treating mucormycosis," Kirtiman Singh said, India Today reported.
He added that even in Delhi, doctors “must have been giving alternative therapies."
The ICMR has informed the Delhi High Court that a national task team has looked into mucormycosis treatment possibilities.
“Amphotericin B is available in several formulations. Liposomal Amphotericin B is to be preferred in patients who have mucormycosis of the brain. Another formulation of Amphotericin B — deoxycholate is also available, which has a higher toxic effect on the kidneys. [It] can be used with other techniques to reduce nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity). Oral posaconazole medications are to be considered only if IV therapy is not possible," the ICMR told Delhi HC, said the report.
According to the ICMR, there are a variety of treatments for black fungus. “Liposomal is a drug delivery system. Base medicine is amphotericin. It’s just a way to deliver medicine more safely.
Kirtiman Singh said that alternative medications were available. “Liposomal Amphotericin B is in shortage. An impression has gone out that Liposomal Amphotericin B was the only available medication," he said.
The Delhi High Court said Tuesday that it was passing a direction to the Centre with “a heavy heart" that a policy on the distribution of Liposomal Amphotericin B drug for treating black fungus be made with priority for patients of the younger generation who can build and take the country forward.