Mumbai: FDA Raids Shop In Mulund Selling Fake Medicine Claiming To "cure" Coronavirus

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Maharashtra FDA and Mumbai police on Monday night raided a shop in Mulund for advertising one of its products as an effective measure to cure the coronavirus

Written By Varsha Chavan | Mumbai | Updated On:

Amid the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration and Mumbai police on Monday night raided a shop in Mulund for advertising one of its products as an effective measure to cure the virus. One person was also arrested by the officials during the raid. The medicines are said to be made of mud and the makers claimed it could cure Coronavirus. Similar such raids have been conducted on fake sanitizers as well by the FDA.

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Raid on fake sanitizers

Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration officials raided a firm in Aurangabad and caught staff changing expiry date labels on hand sanitiser bottles to profit from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the state, a senior official said on Monday.

The staff of Eurolife Healthcare in Aurangabad's Waluj industrial area were replacing '2020' on the expiry date label with '2021', FDA Joint Commissioner Sanjay Kale told PTI.

"Prices were also being changed. The raid started on Sunday evening and went on till midnight. Sanitiser stock worth Rs 50 lakh has been seized. They were manufactured in a factory in Gujarat and were being marketed by Eurolife Healthcare in Aurangabad," Kale said.

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The Coronavirus outbreak

On March 17, the total number of positive cases in India has soared to over 130, including 17 foreign nationals. The maximum cases of the virus have been reported in Maharashtra and Kerala. A third death has been reported in India on Tuesday in Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital. Earlier, two deaths were reported in Kalaburgi and West Delhi. 

The Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories. Earlier on Saturday, the Central government decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster", and has since issued even more advisories and travel restrictions.

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COVID-19 affected over 140 countries

First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel Coronavirus has affected nearly 148 countries in the world. Presently, there are around 182,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of around 7,174 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19 yet, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus.

Eurolife denies allegations of any wrongdoing

Eurolife Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., a leading Indian specialty pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and distribution company, has issued clarifications denying the reports, which appeared in a section of media, that some of its products were found to have passed the expiry dates and that the product pricing was changed for the whole range recently.
Highlighting the issue, Mr. Virender Dhar, Chief Marketing Officer, Eurolife Healthcare,  said, "Contrary to the reports, the prices of many of  Eurolife’s products were reduced in view of Corona Virus and none of the bottles in the market is past its expiry date. Our hand sanitizer was introduced by the company in 2018 and we have in fact reduced its price from Rs. 250 to Rs.190/- for 100 ml. bottle. However, the decision to change MRP for certain products was taken in February 2020 based on market intelligence to rationalize it as all disinfected product brands in the market had higher MRP than us. Given this situation, only three of our products' MRP was changed and the rest all remained unchanged.”
 “We would also like to emphasize that, in view of Coronavirus breakout, we have brought down our ASP price (Prices to stockiest) by 40-45%, " added Mr. Dhar. 
On the issue of shelf life, Mr. Dhar maintains, “All our sanitizer products have a shelf life as per the established guidelines from the appropriate authorities. We appreciate the process put by investigation agencies and we are fully cooperating with them.

(With PTI inputs)

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