Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday, visited Genetic Life Sciences (pharmacy) in Wardha, to oversee the production of Remdesivir injections amid a shortage. While talking about the drug given to critical COVID-19 patients, the transport minister said that earlier there was a shortage due to which several people lost their lives. The Government has increased the production and there will be enough availability of the drug, added Nitin Gadkari.
The union transport minister also blamed black marketing for the shortage of Remdesivir.
"But we tried (and to got manufacturing rights), Remdesivir will be provided to people at govt’s price. Now I think there'll be no black marketing or no person will die due to lack of it, there’s no reservation, can be provided to other states when there will be surplus," said Nitin Gadkari.
He also added that since Remdesivir was a "patent product" so it was difficult to increase production.
There was a shortage of Remdesivir injection, because of it incidents of black marketing took place, several people lost their lives as they haven’t received Remdesivir, so we decided to increase its production, it was a patent product, so it was difficult to do it: Gadkari pic.twitter.com/Eyl6DsixcG— ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2021
States such as Madhya Pradesh had reported several cases of illegal selling of Remdesivir injection. The crime branch of Indore had earlier arrested 4 accused who were roaming around for sale with 5 Remdesivir injections. In Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, a vial of Remdesivir was getting sold at an excessive price of Rs 40,000 though its price is capped at Rs 2,500. A few days ago Delhi police had informed that a 32-year-old doctor and a lab assistant were arrested for alleged black marketing of Remdesivir injections. The Haryana Police in April had arrested two people from Panipat on the charges of black-marketing of antiviral drug Remdesivir.
The above-mentioned cases are some of the recent unfortunate events however the black-marketing of this essential item has been going on for a long time. Apart from critical drug Remdesivir, miscreants have also taken advantage of the necessity of Oxygen cylinders.
Other than black-marketing of the drug, a shortage is also seen as people are hoarding Remdesivir in their house to save themselves from COVID-19. However medical experts, doctors, and the Government are constantly warning citizens that it must only be given to patients in hospitals with severe symptoms. The doctors have also sent a message that the drug is not a magic bullet but it sure helps in curing the virus in a shorter span.
(Inputs from ANI)