We’ll seize Remdesivir stock if firms refuse supply to Maharashtra, says minister

Nawab Malik tweets that Centre has asked export firms not to supply the vital drug to Maharashtra

Nawab Malik, Remdesvir, COVID drug,
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Saturday (April 17) has warned that the state might seize stocks of Remdesvir drug if the firms manufacturing it did not supply it to Maharashtra | Photo - ANI/Twitter

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Saturday (April 17) has warned that the state might seize stocks of Remdesvir drug that is used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients if the firms manufacturing it did not supply it to Maharashtra where COVID cases were continuously increasing and is the highest in the country.

His statement came after he claimed that “the Central government has asked Remdesvir manufacturing firms not to supply the medicine to Maharashtra”.

These companies were warned, the minister said in his tweet, that if they supplied the drug to the state, their “licence will be cancelled”.

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“This is a dangerous precedent and under these circumstances; Maharashtra government will have no choice but to seize the stock of Remdesivir from these exporters and supply it to the needy,” said Malik in his tweet.

“The government says it should be sold only through seven companies that are producing it. These companies are refusing to take responsibility. This is a decision-making crisis,” Malik, who is also the Nationalist Congress Party’s national spokesperson, said.

Also read: Pune reels under COVID-19, but Remdesivir’s hard to come by

Malik said a quick decision over the issue is the “need of the hour”. “While there is a requirement of this medicine and availability too, a quick decision is the need of the hour. This problem must be solved and the vials must be supplied to government hospitals in all states immediately,” he said in another tweet.

His reaction came on a day when Maharashtra reported the most cases with a figure of 63,729 with several districts, including IT and education hub Pune reporting a massive shortage of Remdesivir drug.

Also read: As states face Remdesivir crunch, people turn to black market to save kin

Recently, S V Pratapwar, deputy commissioner, Food and Drugs Administration, Pune told The Federal: “The district requires over 18,000 vials a day while 3,000-6,000 are distributed daily. However, there has not been any supply for the last two days.”

“Maharashtra will face a shortage of 12,000 to 15,000 Remdesivir injections for the next two to three days”, state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingane said on April 16.

He blamed companies for a delay in supply of the much sough-after COVID drug. “The heads of Remdesivir-making companies had 15 days back assured me to supply around 55,000 vials of the injection. However, till April 15 these companies could provide only 37,000 to 39,000 vials to the state,” said Shingane.

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