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Today, Novel Coronavirus is a sole massive issue for all the countries to face. Since it is a new disease and there is no stabilized vaccine for it as of now, treatment policies are being modified from time to time based on developing shreds of evidence.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved five drugs in the last month for COVID-19 treatment which includes, two antivirals, Remdesivir and Favipiravir and three for lowering the symptoms, Tocilizumab, Dexamethasone and Itolizumab.

Remdesivir and Tocilizumab are extensively mandated by most of the hospitals in India, as they were approved for clinical use for both children and adults by the CDSCO, between the controversies restricting its effectiveness. Medicines are moreover in limited supply and being sold for excessive rates in a rising black market, this market is an unlawful trading system that avoids government regulations.

A BBC investigation has found that these two drugs, used to treat Covid-19 patients in India, Remdesivir and tocilizumab are in low supply and being sold in the black market. The authorized price for each vial is 5,400 rupees, and a patient generally requires five to six doses, but it is being sold as twice as its original amount or double the price.

The demand for Remdesivir is led by the point that it has arranged to reduce the period of COVID symptoms from 15 days down to 11 in a clinical trial at hospitals around the world. US-based Gilead Sciences, which initially developed Remdesivir to treat Ebola, has allowed four Indian companies, Cipla, Jubilant Life, Hetero Drugs and Mylon to produce it in India. Regardless, only one of these companies, Hetero, has manufactured it so far. The company has allotted 20,000 doses of Remdesivir between five states and told the BBC that it wasn't sure how "leakage" of the drug was going on. But the similar issue is related to another drug, Tocilizumab as well. Its prices are often rising because of its unlawful trading. The drug has indicated positive results in critically ill patients around the globe. Specialists say more analysis is required to completely interpret its power, but several hospitals have noted positive results. An Indian pharmaceutical company, Cipla trades the medicine in India on behalf of Switzerland-based Roche and it's actually imported. But the Cipla representative denied that tocilizumab was being sold in the black market.

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The BBC has surveyed several cases where hospitals wanted family members of patients to find the drug themselves. And the drugs are hard to find, specifically when you need it within hours. Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of All India Chemists and Druggists Association, an umbrella body of medicine shop owners, denies that any shop owner is involved in the black marketing of these medicines. In short, the pharmaceutical giants and medication retailers are denying their involvement in black marketing while the demand and prices of these drugs are often boosting.

According to a report of The Hindu, State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingne recently said, FDA officials have been instructed to check black marketing of remdesivir and tocilizumab, two drugs essential for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and ensure they are not sold at high prices.

The black marketing of medicines is now demoralising the entire society in the middle of a crisis. And by its expanding webs, we are moreover inviting a hidden healthcare crisis as well.