Tetanus vaccines in short supply across the country

KATHMANDU: Tetanus vaccines are in short supply across the country for the past six months, according to the Department of Drug Administration.

Raju Shrestha, the owner of Thapathali-based Nims Pharmacy, said it has been three months since the market started facing the vaccine shortage. Likewise, Pankaj Mehata, owner of a polyclinic at Thapathali said, "It is unfortunate that such life-saving drug has become scarce."

According to private distributors, only 10 per cent of the total demand for the vaccines has been fulfilled at present.

Although the administration lacks exact data of the amount of the supply, it requires approximately 240,000 ampules of the medicine on a monthly basis to meet its full demand.

"It has been six months since the vaccines are in short supply. But we were informed about it one month ago. We are taking initiatives to supply the medicine smoothly," said Santosh KC, information officer at DDA.

Pricing problem between the company that supplies the medicine from India to Nepal and the Indian government has led to the shortage, it has been said.

Serum Institute and Biological Invanz Company based in India have been supplying the medicine to Nepal. MediSales and Shree Om Brothers Pvt Ltd are the distributors.

The Invanz Company cut the supply of the medicine by over 90 per cent citing reconstruction of its building, said Sribindu Rajbhandari, proprietor of MediSales.

It has been learnt that the Serum Institute has stopped manufacturing the medicine after the Indian government determined its value, said Subash Adhikari, Manager for Shree Om Brothers, the Nepal-based authorised distributor of the Institute.

The Institute said it could not produce and sell the medicine at the price set by the Indian government.