Karnataka to cap mucormycosis treatment cost: Minister | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government said on Saturday that it will cap the treatment cost of mucormycosis in private hospitals across the state. A potentially fatal fungal infection, mucormycosis spreads rapidly from the nose and sinuses to the face, jaw, eyes, and brain, entailing expensive treatment and long hospitalisation. Hundreds of families are shelling out lakhs on anti-fungal drugs, the prices of which have rocketed in recent weeks following a spike in cases.
Health minister K Sudhakar said of 1,784 cases of mucormycosis reported in the state, 111 patients have died while only 62 have recovered. The rest are under treatment. “The government is contemplating a price cap on treatment in private hospitals and inclusion of mucormycosis treatment under Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka scheme as several patients do not have insurance,” he said.
Treatment burden making patients flock to govt hosps: Doctors
The cost of treatment, especially in private hospitals, can go up to Rs 3 lakh. Moreover, with the relatives of patients being told to bring the medicines on their own — mainly Liposomal Amphotericin-B and Amphotericin-B injections — medicine prices have surged, besides leading to blackmarketing and a price surge. Doctors say the burden of treatment is driving mucormycosis patients to flock to government hospitals which are already crowded.
Neighbouring Maharashtra has already capped treatment cost for the fungal infection. In bigger cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur (A-category cities), it 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 9,750 vials of Amphotericin B have been allocated to Karnataka by the Centre of which 8,860 vials have been received yesterday. In all, 18,650 vials have been received so far, of which 8,860 vials have been used by government hospitals.

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Sagar Biswas

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