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Pharma stores selling Remdesivir at higher rate, state BJP chief alleges

The demand for the expensive Remdesivir injection had increased following the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, leading to severe shortage in its supply.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: March 18, 2021 12:12:18 am
Chandrakant Patil urged the state health minister to direct the pharmaceutical industry to provide six doses of the vaccine at the cost of one or make them reduce its MRP. (File)

With an increased demand for the Remdesivir injection for critical patients amid a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil claimed pharmaceutical shops are taking advantage of the situation and selling the vaccine at a higher cost than that fixed by the state government.

In a communication to state health minister Rajesh Tope, the state BJP chief said the demand for Remdesivir has increased amid the spike in Covid-19 cases. “The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has directed pharma shops to sell Remdesivir after taking only 10 percent profit on it. However, it has been found that the FDA directives are not followed by pharma shops. Patients and their relatives are being demanded a high price for it,” Patil said.

The demand for the expensive Remdesivir injection had increased following the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, leading to severe shortage in its supply. Patil said the price of the vaccine was later reduced, but “the Covid-19 surge has once again led to an increase in demand of Remdesivir. It is being sold at four to five times MRP of the product”.

Six doses of Remdesivir are administered to Covid-19 patients as a treatment protocol, he said, adding, “It costs around Rs 32,000 for the six doses as per MRP. However, there is no check by the state government on the sale of Remdesivir by pharma shops and it has added to the sufferings of patients and their relatives.”

Patil urged the state health minister to direct the pharmaceutical industry to provide six doses of the vaccine at the cost of one or make them reduce its MRP.

A similar issue had cropped up during the peak of the pandemic last year, when hospitals were struggling to get Remdesivir. Amid high demand, hospitals were making the relatives procure the vaccine for treatment of their patients. This caused major issues for families, and the district administration eventually had to make a list of pharma stores that would sell the vaccine to relatives of patients.

Active cases of Covid-19 in the area under the PMC reached 13,225 on Wednesday, inching towards the peak of around 20,000 witnessed last year.

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