Take action against those illegally selling Remdesivir at high price, demands CPI(M)

The CPI(M) has urged Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to initiate steps to stop the fleecing of critically ill patients, who require Remdesivir, by some private institutions.

In a memorandum, R. Rajangam, CPI(M) secretary, said that Remdesivir which is an essential drug in treating COVID-19 to reduce mortality rate in critical patients for which the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority had reset the prices from ₹2,800-5,400 to ₹899-3,490 for a single dose.

“We observe that Remdesivir is stocked at the required levels in designated public health institutions in Puducherry. However, their accessibility to patients at private healthcare facilities is limited. This has resulted in an artificial shortage of the life-saving drug leading to the creation of a ‘black market’ for this drug,” Mr. Rajangam said.

The CPI(M) leader also complained that the price of this drug outside of official channels was around ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 or more for a single dose. As per expert recommendations, around 5-6 doses of this drug are required for every patient in need of the drug, thus leaving the price at ₹45,000 to ₹60,000 for full course when obtained through unofficial channels.

“This is nothing short of extortion by the private healthcare institutions. We demand the Lt. Governor to take all necessary action to immediately stop and prevent the sale of Remdesivir and all COVID-19 related medicines through unofficial, illegal channels,” the memorandum said.

Though there is a procedure through which every patient at private healthcare institutions can avail of the life-saving drug from public healthcare institutions at the prescribed price, the general public and critical care patients are not aware of this route in Puducherry.

‘Popularise procedure’

The leader urged the Lt. Governor to take action to create awareness among the people on the prescribed prices for Remdesivir via all possible communication medium and of the due process required to avail of the medicine from public healthcare institutions.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:40:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/take-action-against-those-illegally-selling-remdesivir-at-high-price-demands-cpim/article34426109.ece

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