MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has decided to set up district-level control rooms to ensure smooth supply of Remdesivir injections and prevent hoarding and black-marketing of the drug, officials said on Sunday.
Remdesivir is considered a key medicine in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications.
The state is facing multiple issues pertaining to the drug, like demand-supply gap, its hoarding and black-marketing by stockists and pharmacy shops, unaffordable prices and irrational prescription by some doctors.
Maharashtra's health services commissioner Ramaswami N, in a letter dated April 9, has written to all district collectors in the state to set up control rooms to streamline the supply of the key anti-viral drug.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently reviewed the situation with state Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingne and Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde.
The government has asked authorities to cap the price of Remdesivir between Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400 per vial and urged about a dozen pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the drug to ramp-up its production and lower its MRP (maximum retail price).
It has also asked the health services commissioner to put in place a separate mechanism to streamline the supply of Remdesivir, in the wake of a rise in its demand due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Ramaswami, who is also the state's mission director of the National Health Mission, has directed the FDA to contact the state-level control room and take appropriate action, if needed, in case of any issue regarding the supply of the medicine.