As numerous cases of black fungus, also known as mucormycosis, have emerged in COVID-19 patients across the country, the life-saving drug for this disease has become scarce in the market, almost at the edge of non-existence. Liposomal amphotericin, the drug used to treat black fungus, is being unlawfully sold at a very high price while the law enforcement agent remains aloof.
Patients who obtained liposomal amphotericin illegally stated that the drug was sold for Rs 70,000 per injection, right in front of law enforcement agents' eyes.
Suresh N, kin of a COVID-19 patient says, "We were offered a vial for Rs 1 lakh. After checking all medical shops, suppliers, and dealers, I could find a vial for Rs 70,000 but am still looking for someone offering at a lesser cost. It is not available anywhere at the MRP of Rs 5,000."
This comes after a hospital in Hyderabad stated on Sunday that it had seen 100 cases of black fungus in the previous month.
The injection is the most significant treatment for black fungus, which can injure the nose, sinuses, eyes, and even the brain, and the shortage is making patients and caretakers anxious.
Ever since the rare disease known as mucormycosis, or the black fungus started coming to notice, COVID-19 patients upon recovery fear contracting this deadly disease. There has been a lot of misinformation that is being circulated, especially on social media, about the very nature of the disease. Doctors assure worried COVID-19 patients that the black virus is not contagious and contrary to the belief held by many people, the disease does not transmit through contact, oxygenation, or the use of a humidifier.
"Black fungus does not spread from animals to people. Those with low immunity for various reasons may get it. High steroids for a prolonged time also reduce immunity, making patients prone to such infections," said Dr. Anany Gupta, a gastroenterology expert from AIIMS.
The centre after seeing a spike in the cases of mucormycosis or black fungus around the country is collaborating with state governments to find a solution.