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Karnataka: Remdesivir smuggled out of govt facility for black market | Hubballi News – Times of India

Karnataka: Remdesivir smuggled out of govt facility for black market | Hubballi News - Times of India

Video grab of locals intercepting an ambulance driver with the vials

RAICHUR: As the demand for Remdesivir spikes, the black market is cashing in on the opportunity. Vials of the drug were allegedly smuggled out of a government facility for patients in local private hospitals who are relatives of influential men in Raichur district.
TOI has a video in which an ambulance driver, identified as Bandappa, illegally carries out vials from Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Hospital on the Raichur-Hyderabad road. This Covid facility is situated adjacent to the Raichur Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
In a video reportedly shot by locals in the wee hours of Sunday, Bandappa is seen coming out of the hospital with vials which have names of patients. When locals asked him to take out the vials from his pockets, he pleads with Farhan Ahmad not to capture the video and says he’s not at fault.
Driver suspended and probe ordered
He then runs to a corner and throws two vials. Farhan and his team of social activists immediately pick up the vials and ask him where he’s taking it but he stays quiet. The team did not check his ambulance which is owned by the government.
Khaja Aslam, who filed a complaint, said as per his information, ambulances and others have been smuggling vials from OPEC. The vials are reportedly being sold to patients in local private hospitals. So far, over 100 vials have been allegedly sold for prices between Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000.
Deputy commissioner R Venkatesh Kumar said a three-member team, headed by a district surgeon, was formed to monitor administration of Remdesivir in the government facility. “I have directed them to furnish details of vials used with proper documents every day and an audit will be done. In this case, I’ve asked the RIMS administration to initiate action against the driver.”
Venkatesh said private pharmaceuticals received 1,400 vials . To monitor the sale, another team of the IMA president, assistant drug controller and district health officer has been constituted. Local pharma outlets were found selling it at exorbitant prices as against capped prices by the Union government. Now, pharma shops too should maintain records. Medical superintendent of RIMS Dr Bhaskar said he has suspended the driver and an inquiry initiated. The government facilities have no authority to hand over drugs to anyone without permission , he added.

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