Remdesivir hoarding: 19 held across India for alleged black-marketing of COVID-19 drug

Express News Service
Shiv Sena MLA Santosh Bangar had to break his family’s fixed deposit (FD) to buy Remdesivirs and other drugs for the hospitals in his area.

The Shiv Sena MLA from Kalmanuri in Hingoli district of the Vidarbha region said that in the last 10-15 days, there was a big surge in the Covid-19 positive cases and the hospitals did not have enough medicines to treat the rising number of positive patients.

“After discussing with the hospitals and pharmaceutical firms, they told that they cannot wait for the government tender process and money. The tendering process will consume a lot of time and it may get stuck in red-tapism. Therefore, I had no option but to break the Rs 90 lakh FD amount that was in my family name and buy the drugs,” Bangar said.

He said that the pharmaceutical vendors told him that they were not in a position to bear losses if they procure a large quantity of Remdesivirs and no one buys it.

“Therefore, they needed a guarantee of someone purchasing the large quantity of Remdesivirs. I had no other options but to place the big order,” the Shiv Sena MLA said.

He said it gives him a sense of satisfaction that he was able to save many lives in pandemic time. 

“Initially, I distributed the Remdesivir at free of cost to people who needed it urgently for their relatives and family members. Then, I started charging the minimum cost of the vials from the people. I sold most of the Remdesivir on, no profit no loss basis to people,” Bangar said.

In Maharashtra, there are 6,72,434 active positive cases, the positivity rate is 16.80 percent. The daily need of the Remdesivir is 60,000 to 70,000 while the state government is getting only 37,000 per day for Maharashtra.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that they floated the global tender to purchase the 10 lakh Remdesivirs vials to meet the increasing positive patient’s demands.