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Galvez: Covid drugs shortage to persist

Republika

Following recent scarcity reports from the Department of Health (DOH) for the drug Tocilizumab, used to help treat Covid19 infections, National Task Force against Covid19 (NTF) chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the supply shortage for the drug will continue has the national government is unable to acquire an ample supply.


DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire previously stated that the country’s supply of both Tocilizumab and Remdesivir, both used in the treatment of Covid19, continue to dwindle as the national government seeks out global suppliers.


Not originally intended for Covid19, Tocilizumab is primarily used to treat arthritis while Remdesivir is crucial to the treatment of hepatitis and Ebola.


On September 15, Galvez confirmed that the country is out of Tocilizumab and that talks with the drug’s manufacturer as well as the Swiss ambassador, in order to procure additional vials, have been hitting roadblocks.


Tocilizumab is produced exclusively by the company Roche, while the Swiss ambassador was approached in order to set the Philippines as a priority for new supplies of the drug.


No updates on the county’s supply of Remdesivir have been given as of writing.


Meanwhile, vaccination efforts in the country have reached a total of more than 40 million doses given as of September 20, though the actual percentage of the nation’s population fully jabbed remains far behind the needed number for herd immunity.


Of the 40 million doses, only 20.97% of the country’s total population have received at least one Covid19 vaccine jab, while 17.26% are fully inoculated.


In order to achieve the targeted herd immunity, however, at least 70% of Filipinos must be fully vaccinated.

Photo: Rappler


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