MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration issued a circular on Friday that made it mandatory for the kin of patients to produce Aadhaar card details, doctors’ prescription, consent form, a Covid positive report and contact details for the purchase of the anti-viral drug remdesivir and anti-inflammatory medicine tocilizumab.
The regulatory authority is investigating if hospitals are hoarding the drugs after procuring these directly from the manufacturers. FDA minister Rajendra Shingne said the decision was taken in the wake of complaints of a shortage and concerns about the experimental drugs being sold in black.
“We have received information that people who do not need the drug are trying to purchase it and then selling it at an inflated rate,” the minister said. “These documents will now have to be produced by people buying it from druggists. This will help us track the sale and use of these drugs.”
Some doctors said it was unfair to demand so many documents from harrowed relatives. The minister made surprise checks at Masina Hospital in Byculla and a store of a wholesale druggist, SK Distributor, in Ghatkopar. FDA officials who accompanied the minister said they did not find any discrepancy in the purchase and sale records at these places. Videos of hundreds of people thronging the Ghatkopar store had gone viral on Thursday evening.
“Since these drugs may have shown encouraging results on critical Covid-19 patients, their demand has gone up in the last few weeks,” Shingane said. “We have asked the licensed companies to expedite production.” An FDA official said that over 2,100 vials of the remdesivir drug from Cipla arrived in the city late on Thursday, of which 1,600 doses went to private hospitals and the rest to BMC hospitals.
The BMC had received 6,000 vials of remdesivir last week from Hetero.



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