Hyderabad: The Taskforce sleuths conducted raids at Asif Nagar and apprehended seven persons procuring generic versions of Remdesivir and Cipremi Injections, which are being used as antiviral medicine for Covid-19 patients and selling the same at higher prices for earning more bucks illegally. The sleuths seized nine Remdesivir (Covifor) of Hetero and one Cipremi injection of Cipla from their possession.
On the injection box, it was clearly mentioned that the medicine is meant for institutional/hospital sale only. Remdesivir drug comes with a consent form that has to be filled and signed by the patient/attendants and concerned doctor at the time of administration of the drug. A copy of the consent form has to be handed over to the patient or attendants. It is the duty of the institution to ensure availability of consent form all the time especially during an inspection by CDSCO/DCGI.
On investigation, it was found that one of the accused, Abdul Aziz, works in the “O.P. Pharmacy” at Olive Hospital, Nanal Nagar Crossroads, Langer House, Hyderabad. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, he observed that most of the public at his pharmacy used to ask “Remdesivir (Covifor)” injection. He hatched a plan to gain easy money by illegally procuring and selling COVID antiviral drugs at a high price to the needy customers.
At the same time, one of the staff members, B. Raju, a staff nurse at Olive Hospital, Nanal Nagar Crossroads informed him that he will supply “Remdesivir” injection for Rs 19,000 to him when the actual price was Rs 5,400 as his friend, N. Sunil, another staff nurse at Medisys Hospital, LB Nagar, was supplying the same to him for Rs 6,500.
At the same time, another accused, Ravi also informed Mohd. Aziz that he will also supply Remdesivir injection to him for Rs10,000. Then Aziz purchased 11 Remdesivir injections and one Cipremi injection from the accused M. Raju and M. Ravi.
“This illegal sale of Remdesivir can also be possible if the hospitals are involved in it because Remdesivir is not sold to pharmacies instead they are directly sold to hospitals by the manufacturers. If the patient is supposed to be prescribed 6 vials and the doctors prescribe only four vials the remaining two vials are being sold illegally,” said one of the Top Police officials while speaking to Newsmeter.
Later, Aziz sold the same injections to one other accused, Mohd. Majid Ali for Rs 20,000 per one injection. Later, Majid Ali informed his friend and one other accused, Mohd Afaq Ali, that he has Remdesivir injection and asked him to sell the same at a higher price.
Afaq Ali informed his friend Mohd. Obaid, who is one other accused, and works in a pharmacy. Ali sold the same injection for Rs 28,000 to Obaid.
Mohd. Obaid, in collusion with the hospital management, i.e. Sameer Hospital, Mehdipatnam, decided to sell Remdesivir injections in the hospital pharmacy, Sameer Pharmacy, at a higher price and was looking for prospective customers.
Three of the accused, B. Raju, N. Sunil and M. Ravi, who have been working as staff nurses in different hospitals began selling Remdesivir (Covifor) of Hetero and Cipremi of Cipla illegally, which are supposed to be used for COVID patients in their hospitals.
Mohd. Obaid and Abdul Aziz were also selling the Remdesivir injections in their medical shops at higher prices without any legal medical prescription.
On Friday, all the accused met at a place and were discussing about selling the Remdesivir and Cipremi injections, when the West Zone Task Force team apprehended them along with the injections.
The accused, along with the seized injections, were handed over to Asif Nagar police station for further action.