India’s top drug regulator has sought “immediate” action to stop black marketing of investigational viral medication for Covid-19, remdesivir, following concerns the drug was being sold for as much as 12 times its original price.
Drug Controller General of India Dr VG Somani, in a letter on Monday, instructed all state and Union Territory drug controllers to instruct their enforcement officials to “keep strict vigil” on the sale of the injectable drug. This is to prevent its black marketing and sale above the maximum retail price (MRP).
This letter has also been marked “for information” to drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceuticals Pricing authority (NPPA). The Indian Express has viewed a copy of the letter.
“Action taken in the matter may please be intimated to this office at the earliest,” stated Somani.
The move follows a complaint by community social media platform Local Circles on July 6, claiming the drug was being sold anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 60,000.
This is despite the drug’s MRP ranging from Rs 4,800 to Rs 5,400 per dose, depending on the marketing firm. Local Circles had made the complaint in a letter addressed to NPPA chairperson Shubhra Singh, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan and chief secretaries of all states and UTs.
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