HYDERABAD: As the Covid-19 second wave has led to a shortage of medicines and health monitoring tools, the Legal Metrology Department has been keeping a close eye on medical distributors and traders in the State selling life-saving drugs at rates higher than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
Due to the sudden demand, the MRP of pulse oximeters and thermometers have doubled. Traders are charging extra on MRP citing a shortage of devices and medicines in the market. The price of a normal pulse oximeter was around Rs 1,200 but after the second wave, the prices shot up to Rs 3,000. Similarly, prices of other health monitoring devices have also shot up, said T Ranjith Kumar, manager of a medical store in the city.
As per the directions of Controller of Legal Metrology V Anil Kumar, who is also the Civil Supplies Department Commissioner, the department has set up a task force and has been conducting surprise inspections on stores. During their inspections, they found traders selling N95 masks, thermometers and pulse oximeters by affixing fake labels.
“A team of officials from the Legal Metrology, Drug Inspection, Police and Civil Supplies Departments, headed by the Chief Rationing Officer, have been conducting raids on medical stores. The government has taken a serious view against the menace of increasing prices and have asked officials to send a daily report, with photographs, on the raids,” said an official with the Legal Metrology Department. He also added that they had booked cases against a few stores in the city.