Monday, August 8, 2022

As demand skyrockets, Remdesivir counterfeiting, black marketing increases

Health emergencies aren’t the only problem that families of Covid-19 patients face as the virus spreads through India. Remdesivir, Oxygen and hospital beds are in high demand as India battles the second phase of COVID-19. Because of this shortage, Remdesivir has been black-marketed, causing the anti-viral injection to become even more scarce.

In recent days, India’s drug regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), and several state governments have expressed alarm about the hoarding and black marketing of Remdesivir, which is being marketed at more than ten times the maximum retail price in several cases.

The Crime Branch’s Inter-State-Cell of Delhi discovered a ‘pharmaceutical’ unit in Kothdwar, Uttarakhand, that was manufacturing fake Remdesivir injections just days after two men were arrested for suspected black marketing of Remdesivir. Five people have been arrested, including a woman, and police have discovered that they have sold 2,000 injections so far.

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This isn’t just a problem in Delhi and Uttarakhand; fake Remdesivir injections and black marketing cases have been registered in almost every state and UT in India. Police in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharastra, and several other states have arrested people for selling fake Remdesivir injections.

Here are some points that will assist you in identifying fake Remdesivir:

  1. On the front side of the packaging, look for “Rx” written right before the injection’s name. It is not included in fake Remdesivir packets.
  2. The real box says “100 mg/Vial,” while the counterfeit says “100 mg/vial.”
  3. The company name has an alignment flaw. Take note of the difference on the Remdesivir injections kit. The bogus vial has a larger distance than the real one.
  4. Right below the brand name of ‘Vial/vial,’ there is another capitalisation mistake on the fake box.
  5. Another capitalization mistake can be found at the bottom of the counterfeit Remdesivir package’s front page. The real drug package says “For use in,” while the fake drug package says “for use in.”
  6. On the genuine kit, the ‘Alert’ sticker on the back side of the box is red. A black alarm sticker can be seen on the fake one.
  7. The main details “Covifir [brand name] is manufactured under licence from Gilead Sciences, Inc” is entirely absent from the fake injection kit underneath the alert mark.
  8. The full address on the box containing the fake Remdesivir injection also contains a spelling mistake. Telangana is spelled Telagana.
  9. Another capitalization mistake in the text identifies the drug manufacturer, Hetero Labs. India is written ‘india’ on the fake kit.

Following criticism and a shortage of medication, the Union government, which previously allowed Remdesivir export, has now banned it. On the one hand, the government has struggled to stockpile enough Remdesivir, and on the other, it has shown inefficiency by failing to prevent the selling of fake Remdesivir in the black market. COVID-19 administration has been a stumbling block for both the Centre and the states.

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