Amid Reports of Shortage, Remdesivir Put up For Sale on OLX For Rs 6,000

Amid Reports of Shortage, Remdesivir Put up For Sale on OLX For Rs 6,000

When searching for ‘remdesivir’, several advertisements, selling the medicine emerged on OLX.

Amid reports of shortage of Remdesivir in some states, an advertisement on classifieds website OLX has put up the anti-viral drug on sale for a price of Rs 6,000. The advertisement apparently posted by some users from Maharashtra and Gujarat, carried details and pictures of the injection. This comes at a time when people are seen queuing up outside pharmacies to procure the medicine, which is considered a key drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications. Remdesivir helps shorten recovery time for patients hospitalised with coronavirus disease and is being used in combination with other drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.

When searching for ‘remdesivir’, several advertisements, selling the medicine emerged on OLX.

“I have 4 Remdesivir injections, anyone need, please WhatsApp”, another seller from Maharashtra’s Solapur wrote along with the pictures of the vaccine.

The maximum retail price for various brands of Remdesivir ranges between Rs 899 to Rs 5,400. However, last week, a family in Karnataka’s Bidar district was forced to pay Rs 40,000 for one vial of the anti-viral injection.

“We needed the injection for my uncle who was being treated for Covid-19. If you do not have money to pay for Remdesivir, being sold in the black market, then you have no option but to give up on the life of your loved one,” a relative of COVID-19 patient told the New Indian Express.

Currently, at least seven companies are manufacturing and marketing Remdesivir in India under non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with US-based Gilead Sciences.

These generic pharmaceutical manufacturers include Zydus Cadila (Remdac priced at Rs 2,800 per 100g vial, but now reduced to Rs 899), Cipla (Cipremi at Rs 4,000), Jubilant Lifesciences (Jubi-R at Rs 4,700), Mylan (Mylan Esrem at Rs 4,800), Hetero Labs (Covifor at Rs 5,400), Dr Reddy’s (Redyx at Rs 5,400) and Syngene International (price could not be ascertained).

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The Kanpur police acting on a tip-off of the Military Intelligence Unit, on Thursday arrested three people with 265 vials of injections of the anti-viral drug in Babu Purwa area.

Similarly in Madhya Pradesh, a medical shop owner and two others were arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) for allegedly black marketing Remdesivir injections.

The maximum sale price was not printed on them, but they were trying to sell each injection at Rs 20,000, the SP said.

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