Wed, 12 May 2021

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 18 (ANI): A day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis accused the Mumbai Police of harassing a Remdesivir supplier, the police on Sunday clarified that the director of the pharmaceutical company had been called for an inquiry based on specific information about stocking of large quantity the drug.

In a press note, the Mumbai Police explained that the security force had specific information about stocking of a large quantity (60,000) vials of Remdesivir, what is considered a life-saving medicine for COVID-positive patients.

"On April 17, a director of this pharmaceutical company was called by BKC police station for inquiry. A team from Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) was also there... The Commissioner and Joint Commissioner, FDA were aware of this," the statement said.

It added that around 11:15 that night, opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis visited the police station, along with Praveen Darekaar, Parag Alvani and Prasad Lad, and enquired why the director was called to the police station.

"He (Fadnavis) said permission was taken from the Commissioner, FDA to donate the stock of Remdesivir vials to Maharashtra government, as the drug stocked for export cannot be diverted to the domestic market without the permission of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) or FDA," it added.

The police further said that communication from the FDA to the pharmaceutical company was not shared with the BKC police station, which was acting independently on the information available to them in good faith.

It further said that the inquiry was necessary in light of complaints of rampant hoarding and black marketing of the drug.

Earlier on Saturday, Fadnavis had accused the Maharastra Police of harassing the Daman-based Remdesivir supplier for agreeing to supply a stock of the drug to the state on the request of BJP leaders.

"Four days ago, we had requested Bruck Pharma to supply a stock of Remdesivir vials to Maharashtra. They said they couldn't until permissions were given. I spoke with Union Minister Mansukh Mandviya and got Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s permission. Tonight around nine pm, the police arrested him," Fadnavis had told reporters.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil also explained that there was a specific input on which Mumbai Police acted upon and called the director of the company for inquiry.

"Both Leaders of Opposition reaching there and pressurising police was not a right thing. We are inquiring in this matter further and necessary action will be taken," he said.

The Police and FDA are keeping a close watch on other reports of Black marketing and hoarding of Remdesivir and other important drugs, Patil added. (ANI)

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