New Delhi [India], July 7 (ANI): The country's top drug regulator has directed all drug controller in the States and Union Territories to keep strict vigil to prevent the black marketing and sale of the anti-drug Remdesivir injection above the minimum retail price (MRP).
Last month, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had granted approval to Remdesivir drug for restricted emergency use for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The Union Health Ministry in its Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19 has allowed the use of Remdesivir for restricted emergency use purposes in patients in the moderate stages of the COVID19 disease under "investigational therapies".
Dr V G Somani wrote a letter to all State drug controllers stating: "Initially, Remdesivir formulation of the innovator was approved on June 1 for import and marketing the drug in the country. However, the importer is yet to import the drug after taking the import license from CDSCO. Subsequently, the CDSCO has granted permission to manufacture and market the drug to Cipla, Hetero, and Mylan laboratory for the same indication, conditions and restrictions."
"This office has received a letter from LocalCircle, community engagement and social media platform through the ministry of health raising concerns regarding black marketing and overpricing of the drug Remdesivir by certain unscrupulous persons," he added.
Meanwhile, the LocalCircles in a letter has stated that in the last 72 hours, many posts and comments were received from citizens across India on its platform about the black marketing of Remdesivir drug.
"In a survey conducted by LocalCircles which received 8,329 responses, 93 per cent consumers from 233 districts of India said that the legal metrology and drug inspectors should be directed to immediately act against such black marketing of the Remdesivir, which at this point in time, could be termed as a life-saving drug," said Sachin Taparia, Chairman and CEO, LocalCircles.
He had demanded the drug controller to immediate act for enforcement to stop the sale of Remdesivir above MRP.
"The MRP of Remdesivir marketed by Hetero Healthcare Limited is Rs 5400 but consumers have reported it being sold at a price of anywhere between Rs 15,000 to 60,000," the LocalCircles said.
"Various medical shops have been telling buyers that the medicine is in short supply but can be made available. If they are ready to pay a premium. This is putting extreme pressure on the families of many critical patients who are trying hard to somehow secure the medicine. "It has also been reported that Doctors at many private hospitals are directing families to procure and get the medicine themselves," it added. (ANI)