Hyderabad: The Telangana minister of industry and commerce, K.T Rama Rao, on 21 April said that after discussions with several manufacturers of Remdisivir, arrangements have been made to deliver more than four lakh vials to government hospitals within a week.

KTR's announcement will come as a relief to several people who are running from one pharmacy to another looking for the drug that is becoming increasingly difficult to find.

The sudden shortage of Remdisivir drug in Telangana has triggered panic among the people. While black marketing gangs and crooks are making the most of this shortage, people are shelling out huge amounts for the drug that is used in COVID-19 treatment.

While the manufacturer has priced the drug at Rs. 5,000, it is now being sold at Rs. 40,000 in the black market. Lack of strict surveillance from the Drugs Control Administration and other government agencies has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for these gangs.

Despite the health ministry and government agencies stating that Remdesivir is not the only option to treat COVID-19, private hospitals are forcing people to buy the drug. It was also found that expecting the sudden rise in cases, private hospitals have already hoarded these drugs in large quantities. However, they are telling their patients that the drug is out of stock and they had to procure it through private sources. Under this guise, they are also collecting huge amounts from the patients. They are also supplying drugs to small hospitals that are on good terms with them.

On Sunday, TS health minister Eatala Rajender said the shortage would be addressed soon and asked people not to panic. The government has already directed private hospitals to stop prescribing Remdesivir injection unless it is urgent.

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