Drugs Controller General of India acts on LocalCircles report - asks all state drug controllers to prevent black marketing and unauthorised sale of COVID-19 drug Remdesivir
- • DCGI says taking action taken based on LocalCircles’ letter dated July 6
- • Many citizens had reported sale of Remdesivir through alternate channels at prices 4-10 times above MRP as some Doctors ask patients families to arrange for the medicine
July 8, 2020, New Delhi: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) promptly came into action to stop illegal sale of Remdesivir, a medicine whose restricted use for emergency treatment of COVID-19 patients has been approved in the country. DCGI via its order date July 6th, 2020, instructed Drug Controllers of all states to have their enforcement officials keep strict vigil to prevent black marketing of the drug Remdesivir.
The notification came after LocalCircles wrote to top Government officials reporting instances of black marketing and overpricing of the medicine and demanded immediate action to put a stop to this practice. The letter said that the MRP of Remdesivir marketed is Rs. 5400 but consumers have reported it being sold at a price of anywhere between Rs. 15,000 to 60,000 at many places. It also stated that various medical shops have been telling buyers that the medicine is in short supply but can be made available if they are ready to pay a premium. This is putting an extreme pressure on the families of many critical patients who are trying hard to somehow secure the medicine said the LocalCircles letter to the Government. It was also reported that Doctors at many private hospitals are directing families to procure and get the additional medicine themselves. Family members of a number of patients had expressed this issue on LocalCircles in the last 4 days.
LocalCircles had also conducted a survey to get citizen pulse on how this issue should be addressed and received 8,340 responses. Citizens were asked if the legal metrology and drug inspectors should be directed to immediately act against such black marketing. 93% respondents answered in a ‘yes’.
93% citizens feel Government needs to take immediate action to stop black marketing of Covid 19 medicine Remdesivir
Recently, the Drugs Controller of India, allowed the use of medicine Remdesivir under emergency use authorization for COVID-19 patients. The Health Ministry, in June, had included it as part of investigational therapy to manage COVID patients who are on oxygen. At this point in time, Remdesivir can turn out to be a life-saving drug for some COVID-19 patients. In its submission LocalCircles marked National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority of India, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare as well as the Cabinet Secretary.
LocalCircles and citizens express their appreciation for timely action by DCGI and is hopeful that all state drug controllers will enforce action against black marketing of Remdesivir in their states immediately. By way of this letter, any citizen who faces such black marketing may submit their issue via LocalCircles in the respective city level community, connected consumer or MRP enforcement community for immediate escalation.
8,340 responses were received from citizens spread across India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. They survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.