Many residents stand in queue to buy Remdesivir injection at Chemists Association of Pune headquarters in Pune on Thursday. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)
Many residents stand in queue to buy Remdesivir injection at Chemists Association of Pune headquarters in Pune on Thursday. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)

Pune witnesses shortage of Remdesivir drug

Pune: The panic and crisis over shortage of Remdesivir injection continued on Thursday
By Namrata Devikar
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2021 04:50 PM IST

Pune: The panic and crisis over shortage of Remdesivir injection continued on Thursday. Long queue of residents were seen at the headquarters of the Chemists Association of Pune on Bajirao road to get the life-saving drug for their families and friends down with Covid. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have blamed doctors for overprescribing the drug.

Ashish Avhad, who was searching for the injection at various stores in the city, said that he is unable to get it for the last three days.

“My friend’s father is critical and this drug has been unavailable for the last three days. I have been standing outside the Chemists Association of Pune’s office since 9 am and it is 3:30 pm and I haven’t received the drug. I have visited all major hospitals, but it is unavailable,” said Avhad.

Supriya Kajale, relative of a patient, said that she has been waiting for the drug for the past two days.

“They are charging 5,000 for the drug because of short supply. I need the injection for my 62-year-old father who is tested positive for Covid,” Kajale said.

Dinesh Khivasara, assistant commissioner, FDA said that the drug has been overprescribed by doctors. “This drug is important for critical patients. However, every doctor is prescribing it for patients who are with mild symptoms as well. That is why there is a shortage of the drug. The drug needs at least 15 days to manufacture as it has to follow various norms,” Khivasara said.

He said that other pharma companies will be manufacturing the drug soon and it will hit the market.

“To check hoarding of drugs, we have ensured that all dealers go through us before supplying the drug outside the city,” said Khivasara.

Vikram Kumar, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner said that the authorities are in discussion with FDA.

“There are about 2,000 doses of Remdesivir that will be made available with PMC on Thursday. And another batch of 2,000 doses are likely by April 9,” Kumar said.

In view of tackling the shortage of Remdesivir, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday chaired a meeting with seven manufacturers of the life-saving drug. Tope asked manufacturers to double the production for the state. Food and Drug Administration minister Rajendra Shingane and officials of the health and FDA department attended the meet.

Earlier in the day, before the meeting, Shingane said, “We are going to ask manufacturers to increase the supply of Remdesivir and reduce its price.”

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