ISLAMABAD: Because the country records the very best number of casualties since May 3, health authorities are considering announcing alternatives to Actemra which is given to critically-ill Covid-19 patients.
In another development, Saudi Arabia has added Sinopharm and Sinovac to its list of approved vaccines for inbound travellers.
On the opposite hand, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Senator Sherry Rehman lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for once more increasing prices of life-saving drugs.
According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 141 people lost their battle against the deadly virus and 4,199 more got infected during the last 24 hours. This was the very best price since May 3 when 161 patients had succumbed to coronavirus.
The data further revealed that the amount of active cases was 91,204 as of Aug 25, with 503 patients on ventilators.
A senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services, requesting to not be named, said Tocilizumab — sold under the name Actemra — was given to critically-ill patients but it had become short across the world .
“We tried to urge 1,000 vials of Actemra on Tuesday but even the corporate couldn’t arrange the injection because the medicine has run low . We are now left with no option but to travel for alternatives that have an equivalent characteristics as Actemra,” the official said, adding that, “but they’re not allowed by the Drug regulatory agency of Pakistan (Drap) to administer to Covid-19 patients”.
Replying to an issue , the official said some countries had already started using alternatives and Pakistan could do an equivalent .
Talking to Dawn, a pharmacist, on condition of anonymity, meanwhile, was of the view that Actemra was monoclonal antibodies and was wont to lock the system .
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to repel harmful antigens like viruses.
“During Covid-19, the system becomes hyperactive and starts killing human cells that have the coronavirus and as a result the patient gets affected more. However medicines, like Actemra, lock the system and stop it from killing the cells. However this process also can be dangerous because a patient is susceptible to attacks from all diseases because the system stops working,” the pharmacist said, adding that Pakistan had but two third of the population compared to the us (US) but we’ve used 10 times more Actemra than America. He went on to mention that the drugs had side effects and will be very dangerous. “There are variety of other monoclonal antibodies and that they also lock the system ,” he added.
The pharmacist said the injection was priced at Rs55,000 but was being sold for Rs400,000 within the black market.
“Unfortunately hospitals, especially private, are suggesting administering the injection to patients,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has added Sinopharm and Sinovac to its list of approved vaccines, raising the amount of its acceptable vaccines to 6 . Earlier the dominion accepted entry of individuals who had been inoculated with Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BionTech, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna.
According to a Dawn.com report, the Saudi health ministry announced that there’s an opportunity to simply accept the vaccination of these who have received two doses of Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines, as long as they need received a booster of 1 of the opposite approved vaccines within the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has also eased restrictions on fully vaccinated residents, allowing them to directly visit the dominion from countries facing a travel ban, including Pakistan.
The Pakistani embassy in Riyadh welcomed the choice to permit direct travel from Pakistan to those with valid residency permits and having received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine inside Saudi Arabia before their departure from the dominion .
The Saudi consulate in Islamabad said the govt of Saudi Arabia |Asian country|Asian nation”> Saudi Arabia had lifted travel ban on those residents (Iqamah holders) who had been completely vaccinated within the kingdom then travelled to Pakistan and will not return to Saudi Arabia thanks to suspension of flights.
“Thereby, they will visit Saudi Arabia directly with complete implementation of SOPs,” it said.
Meanwhile, PPP Parliamentary Leader within the Senate Senator Sherry Rehman has criticised the PTI government for increasing prices of life-saving medicines once more .
“Instead of providing relief in times of utmost inflation and high unemployment, the PTI government has hiked the costs of essential medicine by a whopping 150pc. this is often the 10th increase in medicine prices since 2018,” she said.
“While other countries are making life-saving drugs free, the PTI government is busy playing politics during a national health crisis. Let’s not forget, last year Drap hiked the costs of 253 life-saving drugs by a huge 25pc-35pc. … it’s alarming that there’s no price regulating mechanism for medicines under this PTI government,” she said.