A doctor working at a private hospital was arrested along with three others near Tambaram in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalapattu district Thursday for attempting to illegally sell remdesivir, an anti-viral drug used in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
On Thursday evening, officers belonging to the Civil Supplies Investigation Division nabbed the four accused while they were trying to sell the drug in a car near Tambaram and handed them over to the police. Initial investigation reveals that the accused were selling each vial of remdesivir for around Rs 20,000.
The main accused, Dr Mohammed Imran, 26, works in a private hospital near Madipakkam. Other accused have been identified as Vijay (27), Rajkumar (33), and Vignesh (26).
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Tambaram inspector Albin Raj said one of Imran’s relatives had tested positive for Covid-19 and was undergoing treatment in a hospital near Tambaram. As the patient required remdesivir, Imran sought help from his various resources.
“Through one of the contacts, Imran came to know about the availability of the drug in Tiruvannamalai. He bought the drug from a person named Vignesh who was working at a government hospital. After fulling the requirement of his relative, the doctor attempted to sell the drug illegally for a higher price,” the inspector said.
Further investigation in the case is underway, the inspector added.
With the growing demand for remdesivir, there have been several reports about the drug being sold in black markets three to four times the retail price.
Following complaints of some of the hospitals making patients run from pillar to post to buy the medicine, the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation had on Monday opened a counter at Kilpauk Medical Hospital to sell it. Due to overcrowding, the drug is now been sold at Kilpauk Medical College with as many as four counters.