The Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) has emphasised the need to cut the pricing of pharmaceuticals used to treat 'Black Fungus' sickness (Mucormycosis) and to control their manufacturing and distribution, in view of the alarming rise in instances of the disease.The excessive expense of medications for 'Black Fungus' was brought to the attention of a division bench consisting of Justices Sunil B Shukre and Avinash G Gharote. The bench was also advised that the medication amount and dose are excessive. The Bench stated that the government must take some efforts to reduce the pricing of these pharmaceuticals down to a level that is affordable.
The bench asked the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to investigate this matter and, if necessary, give orders to bring the pricing of these pharmaceuticals down to a reasonable level. The bench also took note of the issue of certain medications being in low supply. According to the Bench, "According to reports, there are around 26 businesses in India that manufacture medications for the treatment of Mucormycosis. It would be desirable if the Central Government regulated the manufacturing and distribution of these pharmaceuticals across India in order to avoid future shortages. "We, therefore, request that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and the Central Drug Controller issue necessary directions in relation to the regulation of drug production, increase in production capacity, and distribution of these drugs to various States of India, which would, of course, be in relation to the number of caseloads of each State," the Court stated in the order.
The Court further stated that the State should create a clear Standard Operating Procedure for the prescription and usage of these pharmaceuticals, given that numerous experts have said that some of these medications are extremely toxic. "As a result, we ask the State Government to consider issuing a thorough and more explicit SOP, if feasible, preferably with the contraindications," the statement stated. The decision was made in a suo moto case brought by the Court to address COVID-19-related problems.
The Court stated that the Division Commissioner of Nagpur and the Divisional Commissioner of Amravati should immediately begin an awareness campaign to educate the public on the causes, effects, and preventative measures that should be done to combat Mucormycosis, or black fungus illness. The IMA has already put measures in place to protect patients against post-Covid-19 black fungal sickness, according to the report. "We request that these recommendations be widely distributed in at least three languages: Marathi, Hindi, and English. The Divisional Commissioner, Nagpur, and the Divisional Commissioner, Amravati, will accomplish this through the Public Information Officer. The Commissioners of Municipal Corporations in the Vidarbha Region are also responsible for ensuring that these recommendations are widely distributed in Marathi, Hindi, and English. Posters of these principles should also be made and posted in various locations. These instructions may be shared on social media, which is something that should be done as well "The Court ruled in favour of the plaintiff.