The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized 15 vials of tocilizumab from a non-authorised license holder in Bandra, Mumbai. The team has arrested and filed an FIR against him.
D R Gahne, Joint Commissioner, Greater Mumbai, Maharashtra FDA informed, “Based on a secret information received by the team, officials from the State FDA and police jointly laid a trap and caught a person named Aazam Naseer Khan. He is a resident of Kashipur, Uttarakhand and was found to be illegally selling an essential drug tocilizumab used for the treatment of COVID-19.”
He continued, “The team got a tip that the accused was selling each vial of tocilizumab at Rs 1,00,000, whereas the maximum retail price is Rs 40,545. From him, the team has seized a total of 15 vials.”
“From the preliminary investigation, he revealed that he brought these injections from the Delhi market, hence we have filed an FIR and booked him under different sections for violating the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Essential Commodities Act, etc. We are carrying out a detailed investigation and will find out the main culprit behind it,” Gahne added.
Jugalkishor B Mantri, Joint Commissioner, State Controller Maharashtra and State Drug Controlling Authority informed, “We have taken random sample (of the seized medicine) and sent a single sample for validating the quality of the products. Based on the analysed sample, further action will be taken against him.”
The State FDA has launched a 24×7 control room to address issues related to the unavailability as well as black marketing of essential drugs within the state, which, reportedly, has recorded a positive response. In this case, the local police officers had received a tip from a reliable source.