Pune, Apr 10 (PTI) Amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and a reported shortage of Remdesivir, considered a key medicine in the treatment of the infection, the Pune administration on Saturday said it would be the responsibility of hospitals to make it available to those patients who really needed it.
Incidentally, long queues were witnessed outside the office of the Chemist Association of Pune District, where the drug was made available for Rs 1,100.
'To deal with the shortage and artificial scarcity of the drug, we are working on a two-pronged strategy. The first strategy is to manage demand and the second is to strengthen the supply of Remdesivir, which is not something that is being sold over the counter,' said Saurabh Rao, Pune Divisional Commissioner.
'The drug is administered to patients who are hospitalised. It is the responsibility of the hospital to make the drug available to patients. It is the administration's responsibility to make the drug available to the hospitals,' he added.
Rao said, as of today, there was sufficient stock of the drug as it is being made available to all the districts by the state government proportionately as per the number of active (COVID-19) cases.
He informed that Pune's active patients comprise 14 per cent of the active caseload in the state, adding that the state government had assured of an 'undeterred supply of the drug to the district'.
Meanwhile, Pimpri Chinchwad police, in an operation with the state Food and Drug Administration, arrested four people, including two brothers working in hospitals, for alleged black marketing of Remdesivir.
The operation was carried out after a decoy, who was sent to buy two vials of the drug, confirmed the irregularity.
'One of the accused, identified as Aditya Maidargi, sought Rs 11,000 per vial. After he was held, he named three accomplices, including two brothers. We have seized three vials of the drug. A case was registered under the Essential Commodity Act and Drug and Cosmetic Act,' a police official said. PTI SPK BNM BNM