Hyderabad: Due to surge in COVID 19 cases in the country, the demand for Remdesivir has increased manifold.
The drug is reported to be out of stock at several hospitals and is being sold at highly inflated prices in the black market.
On April 26, Rachakonda police arrested six people including the co-owners of Life Care Hospital for selling expired Remdesivir injection to gullible people at LB Nagar. Police have recovered Rs 5.52 lakh cash, which is suspected to have been earned from the sale of expired Remdesivir injection.
Police said on April 21, Md Aswaq Ahmed, In-charge of Radiology department at Image Hospital reported that his friend Abed's uncle Md Mazar, 62 was infected with COVID-19 and undergoing treatment at Ayush Hospital in Dilsukhnagar.
He was in need of Remdesivir Injection, which was not available in the hospital. Immediately, he arranged six Remdesivir injections at Rs. 16,200, each containing 100 mg Deserem manufactured by Mylan.
After receiving the vials, Abed examined them and found a sticker affixed. On the sticker, the manufacturing date was mentioned as 24.09.2020 and expiry date 23.08.2021 and the MRP was Rs.4800. When he removed the sticker, he noticed the actual label on the vial. The actual manufacturing date was 24.09.2020 and the expiry date 23.03.2021 and MRP Rs. 4800.
Rachakonda police have warned the public about the expired and fake Remdesivir injection being sold on the black market.
How to spot expired Remdesivir injection
Look for any sticker or anything pasted on the injection. Check batch number, manufacturing date, and expiry dates. Match the original details.
Check the injection packet if a pen or sketch was used to write handwritten information. If yes check carefully if the expiry dates are manipulated.
How to spot fake Remdesivir injection
Fake Remdesivir packages do not have "Rx" written on it just before the name of the injection.
There is an alignment error in the brand name of the product. Note the gap on the package of fake and genuine Remdesivir injections. The fake vial has an increased gap.
A capitalization error in the third line written on the package. The genuine package reads as "100 mg/Vial" while the fake one has "100 mg/vial" written on it.
There is another capitalization error below the brand name in "Vial/vial" on the fake package.
One more capitalization error is found at the bottom of the front side of the fake Remdesivir package. "For use in" written on the genuine package becomes "for use in" on the fake drug package.
Just below the warning label, key information "Covifir [brand name] is manufactured under the licence from Gilead Sciences, Inc" is missing on the fake injection package.
On the back of the box, the "Warning" label is in red on the genuine package. The fake one has a black warning label.
There is a spelling error in the full address on the package containing the fake Remdesivir injection. It spells Telangana as "Telagana".
There is a capitalization error in the text identifying the drug-maker, Hetero Labs. The fake Remdesivir package reads India as "india".
These are simple checks to identify a fake Remdesivir injection from the genuine one.