Odisha Issues Guidelines For COVID Drug Tocilizumab

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the requisition of Tocilizumab and other drugs for treating COVID-19 patients.

The Additional Chief Secretary (Health), PK Mohapatra, issued the SOP in a written circular to all the district collectors, municipal commissioners, CDM, PHOs and hospitals on Thursday.

Tocilizumab is an imported drug that is used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients under certain conditions.

Patient Criteria

As per the circular, Tocilizumab may be considered for use in patients with moderate disease with progressively increasing oxygen requirements and in mechanically ventilated patients not improving despite the use of steroid.

Rationalisation by Hospitals

The circular pointed out that after receiving Tocilizumab through government supply, some hospitals were found to have not used the drugs on some patients for whom requisitions were filed.

Therefore, it called for a measure to rationalize the supply of Tocilizuniab or appropriate use by needy patients. To avoid the stockpiling of these limitedly available drugs after being issued, the hospital authority (Medical Superintendent/ CMO/ Authorized Medical officer) must submit their requisition for the patients, it added.

Expert Panel Recommendation

Earlier on April 30, the government had constituted an expert committee for deciding on the use of Tocilizumab and other new drugs for COVID patients at treatment facilities.

The circular said after receiving a requisition, the chairman of the expert committee will review and forward his recommendation/rejection for the issue of the drugs to the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL).

The OSMCL will hand over the recommended drugs only to the authorised representative of a hospital. In turn, the hospital must return the unutilised drugs to the corporation, the circular added.

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