Gov’t facing challenges in stock of anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The government is facing challenges in sourcing anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab for COVID-19 patients, even as the country battles a surge of coronavirus infections.
“For tocilizumab, we are having challenges sa ngayon. Kausap natin ang manufacturers and even across the globe nagkakaroon na ng competition,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a media briefing on Tuesday.
(For tocilizumab, we are having challenges right now. We are talking with manufacturers across the globe, and they tell us that there is already competition for sourcing the drug.)
Vergeire said the DOH already wrote to Philippine embassies in the United States and Switzerland to request assistance for securing the drug.
“Tayo ay sumulat na sa embassy natin ng Switzerland and United States para magpatulong tayo If we can be provided with reserved allocation,” she said.
(We already wrote to our embassies in Switzerland and the United States so we can be provided with reserved allocation.)
“Kahit man lang portion of what should be given to other countries ay makahingi tayo para mabigyan din po ang ating bansa dahil talagang nahihirapan tayo mag source out ngayon ng tocilizumab,” she added.
(We hope we can secure even a portion of what should be given to other countries because we are really having a hard time sourcing out tocilizumab.)
Vergeire said experts are currently studying alternative drugs for tocilizumab. However, she noted that the drugs need to be vetted by the Food and Drug Administration first before it can be used.
Meanwhile, the country still has stocks of remdesivir, according to the health official. She said the government does not see any problem with the supply of the COVID-19 investigational drug at present.
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