Karnataka health minister moots price cap for mucormycosis treatment in private hospitals | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Saturday said it will cap the treatment cost for mucormycosis, a potentially fatal fungal infection, in private hospitals across the state.
The move, when it becomes reality, will prevent hundreds of families from shelling out lakhs of rupees on the anti-fungal drugs, the prices of which have skyrocketed in the recent weeks following a spike in mucormycosis cases.
Health minister K Sudhakar said there have been 1,784 cases of mucormycosis cases reported in the state and, of these only 62 have recovered. While 111 mucormycosis patients have died the rest are receiving treatment. The cost of treatment of mucormycosis, especially in private hospitals, is high as Rs three lakh per patient.
Moreover, with the relatives of the patients being told to source on their own Liposomal Amphotericin-B and Amphotericin-B injections required for treatment, resulting in black-marketing and a price surge. These two factors were forcing most patients to seek admission in government hospitals, which are already crowded.
It was in this backdrop that the government is contemplating a price cap on treatment in private hospitals. Sudhakar said the government is considering including mucormycosis treatment under Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka scheme as several patients do not have insurance.
Neighbouring Maharashtra is the first state to announce a price cap on mucormycosis treatment. For bigger cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur (A-category cities), the cost of treatment is Rs 4,000 per day for normal ward, Rs 7,500 for ICU and Rs 9,000 for ventilator. ENT (ear-nose-throat) surgeries are capped at Rs 38,000-65,000 in these cities.
Sudhakar said that 9,750 vials of Amphotericin B drug used for mucormycosis treatment has been allocated to Karnataka by Centre. 8,860 vials have been received yesterday. So far, we have received 18,650 vials. 8,860 vials have been used by government hospitals and 9,740 vials have been provided to private hospitals, he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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