MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Monday in an affidavit informed Bombay high court that over 2 lakh Remdisivir injection 100 mg vials were distributed by 307 distributors and hospitals between April 1 and September 25 during the pandemic in the city. Also, almost 3.2 lakh strips of Favipiravir 200 mg tablets were distributed in the same period at 183 hospitals.
Between April and September 2020 87 enquiries for Remdesivir and 13 for Tocilizumab injections were made by the public using helpline numbers and their demand for covid-19drgs were fulfilled.
The State’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) gave the HC this information in reply to a public interest litigation (PIL ) filed by Jayesh Mirani, president of Maharashtra Rights Welfare Association, a voluntary group The PIL, argued by advocate Prashant Pandey sought drugs used for treating Covid-19 be made available directly at hospitals and quarantine centres where patients were admitted.
As drugs including Remdesivir crucial to treating Covid-19, were available at select chemists, the PIL said patients were losing precious time in procuring the vials and “often have to pay more the maximum retail price’’ Pandey had submitted.
Last month the HC sought a reply from the state.
Assistant commissioner (Drugs) D C Shaikh in the affidavit, ahead of the hearing scheduled for Tuesday said, he was placing on record the stock of main covid-19 drugs, Remdesivir injections, Tocilizumab vials and Favipiravir tablets being distributed by various retailers and hospitals in Mumbai.
1729 Tocilizumab 200 mg injections were distributed at 27 hospitals and distributors while 18485 tocilizumab 400 mg vials were distributed by 71 hospitals and distributors. Almost 20000 strips of 400 mg Favipiravir tablets were distributed at 51 hospitals.
The affidavit submitted names of firms manufacturing Remdesivir and said that names of six distributors mentioned in the PIL were either wrong and enquiries by FDA revealed that none sold drugs over MRP and ‘no overcharging was found’.
A few instances of black marketing of Remdesivir did come to light, said the FDA and five FIRs were registered between July 10 and August 3 and 18 persons arrested so far by various police stations and drugs worth Rs 28 lakh seized in these cases.

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