Hyderabad: The Hyderabad police, on 17 July, arrested two persons accused of illegally procuring and selling COVID-19 antiviral drugs. Brothers Sunil Agarwal, who runs Sonu Medical in Chilkalguda, and Sonu Agarwal, who runs Sonu Pharmacy in Ramgopalpet, Secunderabad, were illegally selling generic versions of Remdesivir (Covifer) and Fabiflu tablets at high rates to needy customers.

The sleuths of the commissioner’s task force, north zone, along with drug inspectors raided areas under the Chilkalguda and Ramgopalpet police limits. The police seized four Remdesivir 100 mg injections, 30 strips of Fabiflu (200mg) strip containing 35 tables, and 135 pulse oximeters (made in China). Three mobile phones were also seized. The total market price for these items is estimated at Rs. 5,60,000.

The demand for Remdesivir and FabiFlu – used to treat COVID patients, has increased due to the pandemic. The two accused men were trying to cash in on this and sell the drugs to patients at high prices and make easy money. They illegally procured the drugs and sold them at their medical shops without any prescription. Neither did they provide bills to the customers.

These drugs are meant to be sold to hospitals and institutions only. Remdesivir comes with a consent form that has to be filled and signed by the patient or his/her attendant and doctor at the time of administering the drug.

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