MANILA – Malacañang on Monday said the global supply problem hampers the government from procuring in bulk Covid-19 treatment drugs, particularly the anti-inflammatory tocilizumab.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the country is having a shortage of tocilizumab, a repurposed drug for Covid-19.
“Pero humahanap na po tayo ng alternatibo at nakahanap naman po tayo at ang alternatibo ay baricitinib (But we are looking for alternative and we already found one and that is baricitinib),” he said.
Roque said the government is now procuring more baricitinib drugs as an alternative to tocilizumab.
“Kaya po tayo nga kukulang, hindi sa hindi tayo bumibili ng Toci… kung hindi world supply problem po muli. Wala po tayong magagawa dyan dahil hindi naman natin mina-manufacture iyan (The reason why we are lacking is not that we are not buying tocilizumab, but again, it’s because of the world supply problem. We can do nothing about that as we are not manufacturing that),” he added.
He also said the government continues the procurement of remdesivir drugs for use in hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
Roque urged the public not to get swayed by some politicians who are trying to use the Covid-19 situations for their own political interest.
“Huwag po tayo magpadala sa usaping politika. Madami na pong kandidato. Lahat po magsasabi sila ng kung anu-anong mga bagay para suyuin kayo pero ang katotohanan po, lahat po ng gamot ay naririyan kung nagkukulang tayo ng tocilizumab, hindi po dahil hindi tayo bumili kundi walang supply at humahanap ho ng alternatibo (Don’t get swayed into politics. There are a lot of would-be candidates. They will say anything to entice you but the truth is, all the medicine are there, if we lack tocilizumab, it is not because we are not buying but there is a shortage of supply and we are looking for alternatives),” Roque said. (PNA)