Police and FDA officials have raided two locations in Mumbai and seized 2,200 vials of Remdesivir stocked by exporters, an official said on Tuesday. Remdesivir is listed for use in serious COVID-19 patients. In view of a sudden spike in demand of the drug due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre last week banned its export till the situation improves.
Acting on information, the police and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials conducted raids on Monday at two locations in suburban Andheri and New Marine Lines in south Mumbai, he said. A total of 2,000 vials of Remdesivir belonging to a pharmaceutical company were recovered from an exporter’s location in Marol area of Andheri (East), Mumbai police spokesperson S Chaitanya said in a statement.
Besides, 200 vials of the key anti-viral drug were recovered from another premises of an exporter in the New Marine Lines area, he said. These vials were produced for overseas markets, but were stocked after the government imposed a ban on the export of the drug, he said.
The FDA took the 2,200 vials into its possession and would make them available to hospitals, the official said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-VIII) Manjunath Singe said the raids were conducted following specific intelligence inputs and his team was coordinating the operation with the FDA.
“We had specific intelligence inputs from our sources.With technical help, the police and the FDA recovered the drug stocks," Singe said.
He expressed hope that following these raids, the exporters who were not able to send their Remdesivir consignments overseas will come forward and give their drug stocks to the state for circulation in local markets. “These Remdesivir vials can save many lives during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.