Amidst the 2nd wave of Coronavirus outbreak in India, an acute shortage of the life-saving Remdesivir injection has been reported from various parts of the country. The acute shortage of this crucial drug has deliberated miscreants to black-market the injection and also produce and circulate counterfeit Remdesivir jabs and sell them at exorbitant prices.
On Thursday, the Ropar police in Punjab recovered over 600 vials of Remdavisir injections from the Bhakra Canal near Salempur village in Ropar, Punjab. The vials were found floating in the canal water. The police confirmed that besides Remdesivir, hundreds of Cefoperazone injection vials were also found floating in the canal.
Drug Inspector Tejinder Singh of the Health Department said: “Police have recovered around 671 vials of Remdasivir injections, more than 1456 Cefoperazone injection vials and around 849 unlabelled vials, whose print was washed away in the water.
Police probing whether the Remdesivir injections recovered are fake or genuine
Singh added that preliminary investigations reveal that these vials are apparently fake. The labels on vials did not match with those of the original vials of the same company. Police are now probing whether the medicines are counterfeit or authentic. A case has been registered against unidentified people.
Police informed that the Remdesivir vials were packed in cartons and bore the manufacturer’s address of Telangana with Rs 5,400 per vial as MRP. According to information provided on the vials, it was manufactured in March 2021 and bore an expiry date of November 2021.
Meanwhile, the wrappers of Cefoperazone vials with “For government supply, not for sale” marking bore the manufacturer’s address of Kala Amb in Himachal Pradesh. The manufacturing date of the Cefoperazone injection was mentioned as April 2021 and the expiry date was March 2023.
Police teams still searching for more vials in the canal
Ropar SSP Akhil Chaudhary confirmed that the police received information that some injection vials were seen floating in the Bhakra canal near Morinda. “A team headed by DSP Chamkaur Sahib was immediately sent to the spot at village Salempur along with drugs inspector and senior medical officer (SMO). Initially, around 300 Remdesivir and Cefoperazone vials were found from the canal,” said the SSP.
However, teams continued search operation upstream at village Balsanda, where more vials of both drugs were found, added the SSP, furthering that the process to register an FIR was ongoing and teams were still searching for more vials in the canal.