Will you give black fungus drug to young or old? You have to make a cruel choice amid scarcity: Delhi High Court tells Centre, Delhi government.

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Central government and Delhi government to frame a policy on priority administration of the scarce black fungus drug, Amphotericin B, to the patients.

A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh observed that the final decision could not be left to the doctors and had to be made by the political leadership in consultation with the experts.

If a person is 80 years old and other is 35 years old…if we have to make a cruel choice, you have to take (a decision). Will you give it to 80 year old or to the one who has two children to support?..You will have to say …you will have to exclude (a certain class)”, the Court said.

The Court further remarked that black fungus was affecting persons of all age groups and giving two vials of the drug to all patients when the requirement is of 6 vials was not helping anyone.

“You have to prioritise. There is scarcity.. you’ll have to make that list..If you require 6 vials to beat the fungus, you can’t say make do with two.”, the Court stated.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra for Delhi government said that the State government would follow whatever framework is laid down by the Central government.

In response to the Court’s statement, Central government Standing Counsel Kirtiman Singh submitted that any such policy would be applicable to all States, and not just Delhi, and other States may not want that.

The High Court has been hearing a batch of petitions concerning COVID19 and supply of Amphotericin B in the national capital.

It had recently opined that the present production and supply of Amphotericin B, as well as their projections, appeared to fall short of the actual demand of the drug being used to treat mucormycosis or black fungus.

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