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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Hyderabad police nab seven for illegal procurement and sale of Remdesivir drug

On Tuesday, police caught red-handed Shaik Mazhar (33), a pharmacy store owner, when he was trying to sell six vials of covifor (generic brand of Remdesivir) near a private hospital.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad |
Updated: April 20, 2021 7:54:54 pm
Gujarat, remdesevir stock, Gujarat Covid vaccine distribution, Gujarat remdesevir, remdesevir vaccine shortage, Gujarat corona vaccine shortage, Indian expressTo exploit the huge demand for the emergency drug, Sharan Sai agreed to buy the drug for Rs 15,000 per vial and was selling the same to people at Rs 20,000 per vial. (File)

As many as seven persons, including two employees of Hetero Healthcare, have been apprehended by the Hyderabad police on charges of illegal procurement and black marketing of the Covid-19 emergency antiviral drug Remdesivir.

On Tuesday, police caught red-handed Shaik Mazhar (33), a pharmacy store owner, when he was trying to sell six vials of covifor (generic brand of Remdesivir) near a private hospital. He had priced these injections at Rs 35,000 when the actual cost would be around Rs 5,400 (Rs 900 per injection), said police. On a tip-off, the police personnel of the Commissioner’s Task Force nabbed him and handed him over to Langar House police station for further action.

In another instance, the Hyderabad police nabbed Md Abdul Hafeez (52), a pharmacy owner, along with his employee Shaik Jilani (27), and one Mohammed Bin Saleem (51), who were trying to sell Remdesivir injections in the black market for profit. The Commissioner’s Task Force police team seized four Covifor (Remdesivir) injections of Hetero Healthcare and handed the accused over to Habeebnagar police for further action.

According to police, the three accused were illegally procuring and selling the emergency drug without any doctor’s medical prescription or bill. The four injections, priced at Rs 3,490 (MRP), were being sold to the public for Rs 23,000, for a profit of nearly Rs 4900 per vial, said a police press note.

A day before, on Monday, the city police arrested three persons and seized 12 vials of Remdesivir 100 mg injections meant for illegal sale in the black market. The arrested persons include Shaik Saleem Jaffer (32), who worked as area business manager in Hetero Healthcare, and Bathala Venkatesh(27), who worked as Field Sales Officer in the same organisation at its Kukatpally branch. According to police, they hatched a plan to make easy money by joining hands with one Jonnala Sharan Sai, the third arrested person, who worked as a medical representative in Alkem pharma.

To exploit the huge demand for the emergency drug, Sharan Sai agreed to buy the drug for Rs 15,000 per vial and was selling the same to people at Rs 20,000 per vial. Police found that he was selling the same to pharmacy stores as well as individual customers. Based on a tip-off, the Commissioner’s Task Force teams nabbed the accused and handed them over to Banjara Hills police station for further action, P Radha Kishan Rao, DCP (OSD) Commissioner’s Task Force, said in a press release

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