Gujarat: Seven booked in Tocilizumab black market racket

Gandhinagar: The Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA)has filed an FIR with the Surat police station against seven individuals who were involved in black marketing of an immunosuppressant drug, Tocilizumab injection, used for critical COVID-19 patients.

“Umaben Saket Jariwala, the proprietor of Sarthak Pharma agency in Surat, Mitul Mahendra Shah, an MR of New Shanti Medicines, Adajan, Surat, Amit Mancharamani, an ex MR of Cipla pharmaceuticals and running a Pharma agency in the name of KBV Pharma in Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad TB hospital’s contractual pharmacist, Ghanshyam Vyas, Bhavesh Solanki of Dhruvi Distributors in Ahmedabad, one Abhishek in Ahmedabad and a person named Bhavesh, a resident of Mumbai have been booked”, police said on Saturday.

“The main complaint to initiate criminal proceedings against these persons is yet to be filed, but we wanted more information from these persons involved. So we had asked for the police help to extract more information out of them as they were involved in black market of Tocilizumab injection,” Hemant Koshiya, FDCA Commissioner, Gujarat told IANS.

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Based on the available information, the police has filed complaint under the Essential Commodities Act, sections of Drugs and Cosmetics rules and breach of trust.

The Gujarat FDCA had unearthed a black market racket of Tocilizumab on Wednesday, with having connections in Ahmedabad and Surat.

Acting on a tip off, the FDCA laid a trap to nab the culprits. A dummy customer in the guise of pharmacy trader was sent by the FDCA to a pharmacy store in Surat. After much negotiations, the deal between the proprietor Uma and the dummy trader was struck at Rs 57,000 for a 400 ml vial of injection. The vial costs Rs 40,000 at regular prices in the market.

FDCA had nabbed the woman proprietor Uma who had tried to sell the injection to the customer. At the pharmacy Store, the FDCA had confiscated three vials of Tocilizumab drug.

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