Millions of Remdesivir May Have Been Exported, Citizens Here Suffering Due to Its Shortage: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that millions of vials of Remdesivir, used in treatment of COVID-19, may have been exported by India, but its own citizenry was "suffering due to acute shortage of the drug". Justice Prathiba M Singh said several companies in India were manufacturing the medicine and millions of vials of the drug must have been exported, "but we do not have enough to cater to our own patients".

"Statistics show that shortage of the drug in Delhi is acute," the court said and asked the Centre, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) whether there has been any change in the guidelines with regard to administering Remdesivir. The court also asked the Centre on what basis it was deciding how much of the drug was to be allocated to the Delhi government and whether anyone can directly approach the manufactures or suppliers for buying the medicine.

The directions came on a plea by a lawyer who is suffering from COVID-19 and was able to get only three out of the six doses of Remdesivir required by him. The court directed the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal, to ensure the petitioner gets the remaining three vials of the medicine by 9 pm tonight.

With the direction, the court listed the matter for hearing on April 28.

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