258 arrested in Telangana for black marketing of COVID-19 drugs during second wave

Minister KT Rama Rao said that 128 cases have been filed by Telangana police in relation to black marketing of COVID-19 medical resources.
Boxes of Remdesivir vials placed on a table
Boxes of Remdesivir vials placed on a table
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Telangana Police have filed 128 cases and arrested 258 people for black marketing of COVID-19 medicines and oxygen cylinders during the second wave of the pandemic so far. This information  was revealed on Thursday by Industry and Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao, who is heading the task force for procurement of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19. "Telangana Police have been doing their best in this pandemic to restrict black marketing of medicines & oxygen cylinders," he said in a series of tweets. "In the 2nd wave, 128 cases have been filed & 258 people have been arrested. Anyone who has information on black marketeers can dial 100 or tweet at @TelanganaDGP (sic)" he wrote. 

The minister, who has been helping many COVID-19 patients by responding to their requests on Twitter for medicines and oxygen, appealed to those seeking DRDO's (Defence Research and Development Organisation) 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose (2DG) not to let anyone fool them with duplicate products. "It has not yet been launched and don't let anyone fool you with duplicate products (sic)," KTR, as he is popularly known, tweeted, sharing an announcement from Dr Reddy's Laboratories. The pharma major had said that the oral antiviral drug 2DG has not yet been launched in the market, and price per sachet has not yet been announced.

The oral antiviral drug has been developed by INMAS, a lab of the DRDO, in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories. The Hyderabad-based firm Dr Reddy's also stated that 2DG can be administered only upon prescription to hospitalised moderate to severe COVID-19 patients as adjunct (add on) therapy along with existing standard of care. 

Amid rising cases of mucormycosis, there have also been reports of black marketing of the drug Amphotericin B. On Wednesday, the Hyderabad police arrested five medical practitioners for allegedly procuring and selling 50 mg vials of Amphotericin B illegally at Rs 50,000 per vial, while the MRP is around  Rs 315. 

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