DCGI directs SLAs to monitor availability of remdesivir injections & prevent its hoarding

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The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has directed all State Licensing Authorities (SLAs) to monitor availability of remdesivir injections to ensure its supply and also take timely action to prevent its hoarding and black marketing.

“It has been brought to the notice of union health ministry that in Mumbai and Thane region in the state of Maharashtra, Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot in the state of Gujarat are reporting shortage of remdesivir injections. In view of the same, SLAs are supposed to initiate immediate remedial action to ensure supply of remdesivir injections to public and private hospitals,” the DCGI said in his directive to the SLAs.

SLAs are also requested to instruct the enforcement staff to keep continuous monitoring on the situation and keep strict vigil to ensure availability of remdesivir and also prevent its hoarding and black marketing. Action taken in the matter may be intimated to the DCGI office at the earliest, the DCGI notice further stated.

To curb hoarding and black marketing of remdesivir injection, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently directed Covid-19 drug remdesivir manufacturers to reduce the wholesale price of the drug and has also proposed to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to bring it under price control.

Maharashtra FDA Commissioner held a meeting with senior officials at Mumbai headquarters recently to discuss how to reduce this huge gap between the wholesale selling price and MRP of remedesivir injection and how to make this drug available to the patients at reasonable rates.

The Maharashtra FDA is regularly reviewing the availability of remdesivir injection and other drugs in the state. Currently, there are 6 major manufacturers of remdesivir injection 100 mg available in the market.

Based on the review, Maharashtra FDA found out that the maximum retail price of remdesivir manufactured by respective manufacturers like Cipla is Rs. 4,000, Zydus Healthcare is Rs. 2,800, Hetero Healthcare is Rs. 5,400, Dr. Reddy’s Lab is Rs. 5,400, Mylan is Rs. 4,800 and Jubilant is Rs. 4,700.

However, it has been found that the drug was supplied to wholesalers and hospitals at a price of Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,200. In this case, there is an outcry from various quarters about the financial burden being imposed on the patient by the increased maximum retail price (MRP).

Rajendra Shingane, Maharashtra FDA Minister and Saurabh Vijay, secretary, department of medical education and drugs, Maharashtra had also directed to take action in this regard.

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