Hyderabad: Waking up to the fleecing by unscrupulous elements, Andhra Pradesh drug control administration raided 254 medical shops and booked a chemist for overcharging customers for face masks.
After the coronavirus scare in the country, there is a high demand for hand-sanitizers and face masks. Taking undue advantage of the demand, some unscrupulous chemists are overcharging people for face masks and hand-sanitizers.
Sensing trouble, teams of Andhra Pradesh Director General of Drugs raided around 254 medical shops on Friday and booked Sri Maurya Medicals in Ongole for selling 2 ply face masks for Rs.30 against the MRP of Rs.20.
Vijay Rama Raju V, Director of Health and Family Welfare of Andhra Pradesh said raids will continue in the coming days as well.
“Strict action will be taken against erring medical shops. We will cancel their license if they are found selling medicines or masks at a higher price. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Key Starting Materials (KSMs) available with major manufacturers are sufficient for their production until the end of April. Sufficient stocks of face masks are available in the state,” he said.
Given the current situation, the drug control administration (DCA) on Thursday issued a fresh advisory asking all pharmacies and chemists to desist from overpricing hand sanitizers and masks.
The drug control body asked chemist and druggist associations in Andhra Pradesh to maintain adequate stock of hand sanitizers and masks, and distribute them judiciously to the customers.
The DCA also asked pharmacies not to indulge in any “unhealthy practice of withholding stocks and overcharging these items”.
It has strictly advised against hoarding and has directed active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers not to withhold stocks of the 58 formulations identified by the Union government as essential drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 infected patients.
Meanwhile, 13 persons with suspected symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) were admitted to different hospitals of Andhra Pradesh. Of the 13, five were admitted to Government Hospital in Vizag city. Others were admitted to various hospitals at Eluru, Kakinada, Srikakulam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, and a few other places in Andhra Pradesh.