Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik targets Centre over Remdesivir shortage, says it asked companies to not supply key drug
- Malik further highlighted that a quick decision over the issue is the "need of the hour."
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Saturday questioned the Centre over anti-viral drug Remdesivir amid a shortage of the key Covid-19 medicine across the country. In a series of tweets, Malik claimed the Centre is denying permission to companies willing to sell Remdesivir in the country. "There are 16 export oriented units in our country that have 20 Lakh vials of Remdesivir, since exports are now banned by the government, these units are seeking permission to sell this medicine in our country but the central government is denying the same," he wrote on Twitter.
"The government says it should be sold only through 7 companies that are producing it. These 7 companies are refusing to take responsibility. This is a decision-making crisis," Malik, who is also the Nationalist Congress Party’s national spokesperson, also said.
Malik further highlighted that a quick decision over the issue is the "need of the hour." "While there is a requirement of this medicine and availability too, a quick decision is the need of the hour. This problem must be solved and the vials must be supplied to government hospitals in all states immediately," he added in another tweet.
With the unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases, demand for Remdesivir has also shot up leading to the long queues outside pharmacies. Black marketing of medicine is also on the rise as the government is working to crack down on the illegal selling of the drug. According to medical practitioners, the anti-viral injection that costs between ₹1000 and ₹5,500, depending on the brand, is being sold for ₹30,000 to ₹40,000 in the black market.
Maharashtra's food and drug administration (FDA) minister Rajendra Shingane said on Friday said that the state will face a shortage of 12,000 to 15,000 Remdesivir injections.
Shingane also said pharmaceutical companies manufacturing Remdesivir have stepped up production but it will take time for the new stock to reach the market.
Further blaming companies for the delay in supply of the much sought-after Covid-19 drug, the FDA minister said, “The heads of Remdesivir-making companies had 15 days back assured me to supply around 55,000 vials of the injection. However, till April 15 these companies could provide only 37,000 to 39,000 vials to the state.”