In the ongoing coronavirus crisis, there has been a surge in the black market for disinfectants, coronavirus drugs, and masks, and people have complained about it.
To control the black market trade of the experimental COVID-19 drugs, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (Friday) mandated the families of coronavirus positive patients to show Aadhaar details, doctor’s prescription, Contact information, consent form, COVID positive report to purchase the antiviral drug Remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory drug Tocilizumab.
“The regulatory authorities are investigating whether the infirmaries are accumulating the experimental drugs after getting them directly from the producers,” Rajendra Shingne, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister stated.
He also asserted that the decision to make these documents mandatory was made after getting complaints about a shortage of these experimental drugs and concerns about the black market for the same.
The minister further stated: “The information we have received is that people who do not need this drug are trying to buy it and then sell it at an inflated price.”
Now, these documents must be yielded by people who buy drugs from pharmacists. The minister added that this will help us to track the sales and use of these drugs.
However, some doctors in the state expressed their concern over this decision and stated that it is unfair to demand so many documents from distressed relatives of positive coronavirus patients, only to make their effort to get these medics worse.
The FDA Minister conducted a surprise inspection at the Masina Hospital in Byculla and the store of a wholesale pharmacist, SK distributor, after many videos went viral on Thursday, in which hundreds of people gathered together at the wholesale drug store in Ghatkopar.
However, FDA officials who accompanied the minister stated that they did not find any disparity in the purchase and sale of these drugs at these places.
According to the Gilead Sciences’ new data, Remdesivir, its antiviral drug, can reduce the risk of death of critical COVID-19 sufferers by 62% compared to standard care alone.
Shingne stated: “Because these drugs are showing effective results on Covid-19 patients, the demand for them has increased in the last few weeks, and we have requested licensed companies to speed up its production.”
It is worth mentioning that the drug control department of the Delhi government also said on Friday that the COVID-19 drugs Favipiravir, Remdesivir, and Tocilizumab should only be used for emergency purposes and instructed state drug controller to maintain strict vigilance on the sale of these drugs to prevent black marketing.
According to the report: “India’s CDSCO Govt has endorsed to manufacture and sell the COVID-19 drugs, which must be used in an emergency case only. It has only granted to three companies for restricted emergency use of Remdesivir drug as subject to several conditions and restrictions.”
Maharashtra has a tremendous number of cases. On July 10, a total of 2,38,461 cases of which 95,943 are active cases in Maharastra.
According to sources, FDA officials also asserted that on Thursday approximately 2,100 vials of the antiviral drug Remdesivir arrived in Mumbai, of which 1,600 vials were taken to private hospitals, while the remaining 500 vials sent to those hospitals that were managed by the Brihannmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).