Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. (File Photo/ANI)
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. (File Photo/ANI)

Harsh Vardhan vows stringent action against hoarders, black marketers of Remdesivir

By Nishant Ketu | Updated: Apr 14, 2021 20:36 IST

New Delhi [India], April 14 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday called for stringent action against those found indulging in black marketing and hoarding of anti-viral drug Remdesivir used in Covid-19 treatment, in wake of a sudden spike in demand due to surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
Responding to a question on Remdesivir shortage, Dr Harshvardhan told ANI, "Shortage of Remdesivir happened because its production was reduced as COVID19 cases were decreasing. Our drug controller and ministry held a meeting with stakeholders and asked manufacturers to strengthen the production. In case of any complaint of black marketing or hoardings of doses stringent action will be taken by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Stringent action should be taken against those who are exploiting people by inflating the price of Remdesivir.
Union Health Minister emphasised that there are no shortage of vaccines and the Centre gives it to every state and added, "It is the job of states to provide the vaccine at the centre in a time-bound manner along with monitoring the drive and meticulous planning."
Replying to the question on Kumbh Mela, the health minister said, "It is clear that it is a new virus of COVID-19 and the most important COVID appropriate behaviour is with masks, distancing and using sanitisation. Wherever it is not followed then it is dangerous in terms of COVID-19. We should go back to COVID appropriate behaviour and only then we can lower down the cases."
On the use of Remdesivir, NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul said, "It is an investigational drug. Its role has been clearly defined in the clinical management protocol. There is no question of the use of Remdesivir in home settings. That is unethical. It is only required for those hospitalised patients who are on oxygen. That is the pre-condition."
The second wave of coronavirus has witnessed an unprecedented demand for Remdesivir injection.
India has banned the export of Remdesivir injection and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in view of the sudden spike in cases. (ANI)