COVID-19 in India: 14 arrested on suspicion of black marketing remdesivir
Police in Mumbai and in Hyderabad said they have arrested, in all, 14 people for selling the drug on the black market for as much as 30,000 rupees ($400) a dose, compared with the maximum retail price of 5,400 rupees.
Indian police have arrested 14 people on suspicion of selling locally made doses of Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir at five times the maximum retail price as a surge of novel coronavirus cases boosts demand for the antiviral drug.
Police in Mumbai and in Hyderabad said they have arrested, in all, 14 people for selling the drug on the black market for as much as 30,000 rupees ($400) a dose, compared with the maximum retail price of 5,400 rupees, Reuters reported.
Police seized 23 vials of remdesivir produced by Cipla and privately held Indian drugmaker Hetero Labs from the suspects.
Remdesivir, which has been shown to trim hospital recovery times in a US clinical trial, has been cleared by several countries as a treatment against the disease that has killed more than half a million people globally.
India recorded 40,425 new coronavirus cases and 681 deaths in the last 24 hours, in the biggest single-day jump, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Monday morning. The surge puts the total tally in India -- the nation with the third highest number of COVID-19 cases, at 11,18,043. The death toll stands at 27,497 while the country's recovery rate stood at 62.61 per cent on Monday morning.
The Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) of the western state of Maharashtra, which has recorded more than 310,000 coronavirus cases, has been trying to crack down on the black-marketing of drugs with the help of local police, the state's FDA commissioner Arun Unhale told Reuters.