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Life-saving drug scarce, patients left in the lurch

MUMBAI: When 20-year-old Gauri R was wheeled into the ICU of a south Mumbai hospital on Wednesday, it was an emergency that was in the making since July, when a life-saving drug, D-penicillamine became scarce across the country.

Gauri suffers from Wilson’s disease, a genetic condition in which the body is unable to flush out excess copper. She was diagnosed with the disease seven years back when doctors found she had extensive liver damage or cirrhotic liver. A daily three-tablet dose of D-penicillamine has since kept her healthy till August. “We thereafter started rationing strips we had, taking a tablet or two instead of three she was prescribed,” said her father, Satish R.

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