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Aspen In Talks With Health Department To Make Dexamethasone Available In Tablet Form

Pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare said that stock levels for the injectable form of dexamethasone in South Africa were stable.

The company said that it was in talks with the national Health Department to ascertain if a tablet form of the steroid was needed in the country.

The drug has shown tremendous benefit in the treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients receiving oxygen therapy, as well as those patients hooked on ventilators.

Senior executive at Aspen Pharmacare, Stavros Nicolaou, said that the steroid in tablet form was not produced in the country.

“Aspen does produce the tablet form at its facility in Germany and we are also in discussion with the national Health Department to see whether there is a requirement for the tablet form in South Africa, in which case we can look to make it available in collaboration with the Health Department.”

Meanwhile, Independent Community Pharmacy Association CEO, Jackie Maimin, has flagged the dangers of using the steroid in an attempt to prevent COVID-19.

“Dexamethasone doesn’t prevent COVID-19, so the most important thing you can follow is the normal public health rules of not touching your face, washing your hands, wearing a mask in public spaces and keeping social distancing. That is your best protection against this particular virus.”

The drug is only available through prescription.