Mumbai doctor, 2 others arrested for selling Remdesivir in black market
Three men including a doctor were arrested on Tuesday on charges of selling Remdesivir injection in Mumbai’s fast-growing black market for the key antiviral drug for Covid-19 patients that is in short supply, the Mumbai police said on Wednesday.
The three allegedly overcharged people prescribed the injection in violation of the law, a Malwani police officer said.
The Malwani police had received a tip-off that two people were hoarding injections bought from chemist shops to sell them at a markup to people desperate for the antiviral drug. A decoy customer was sent to the men for buying the injection administered by hospitals to adults with severe complications.
Two men, Siddharth Yadav (21) and Rizwan Mansuri (32), a doctor, were arrested a little after 7.30 pm on Tuesday when they turned up at Mumbai’s Charkop Naka to deliver the injections.
Shekhar Bhalerao, senior police inspector of Malwani police station, said the two were questioned about their source for the injections. The two men allegedly told the police that a medical representative, Chiranjiv Vishwakarma, arranged for the injections and was expected to meet them soon to pick up the money from their sale.
Vishwakarma showed up and was also arrested.
Vishwakarma allegedly told the police that he had bought the injections from the Hayaat hospital medical shop.
The gang had offered three injections for total price of Rs. 59,000 as against the retail price of about Rs. 1,400 per injection.
There have been reports of shortage of the injection from several states including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Jharkhand over the last few days and weeks. The Centre has insisted that there was overall no shortage of the drug but advocated its rational use.
Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul on Tuesday said it should not be used for patients at home. “The patient has to be on oxygen therapy, and the drug is supposed to be supplied only to hospitals and not to be sold in retail… It is not meant for everyone,” he said.