Mumbai: A pharma store owner in Mumbai has been arrested along with his aide for allegedly selling anti-viral drug remdesivir at four times its market price.
Mira Road police station Friday arrested the shop owner alongwith his aide for selling remdesivir at exorbitant prices. Sonu Darshi (25) and his aide Rodriques Raul (31) were nabbed after a police official contacted them posing as a customer.
Rs 20,000 for a Rs 5400 drug?
They quoted Rs 20,000 for a drug costing Rs 5,400 per vial. The accused were caught red-handed by a police decoy who went undercover them while selling the medicine and police recovered four vials of the medicine.
The accused told the police that they had acquired the drug from a hospital, throwing hints at a broader nexus. The two men have been booked under IPC Section 420, Essential Commodities Act and Drugs and Cosmetic Act.
Police is further investigating a possible nexus in black marketing of remdesivir at a time when it is being labelled as the most effective anti-viral medicine as a cure for COVID-19 thereby shooting its demand and market value up.
Senior Inspector, Sandip Kadam said, “We are investigating if more people were involved in this illegal sale. These accused were selling the drug costing Rs 5,400 at a rate of Rs 20,000-25,000.”
There are reports of wide-scale black marketing of remdesivir and tocilizumab in Mahararashtra and other parts of the country as well. Long queues were seen in Mumbai distributor shops selling the drug.
Friday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh held a meeting with Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in which Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh was also present and intimated about the incident.