Published On : Sun, Apr 18th, 2021

Remdesivir: Pharma boss likely to be quizzed again

Mumbai police are likely to call the director a pharma company for one more round of questioning for allegedly stocking thousands of Remdesivir medicine vials, an official said on Sunday.

Rajesh Dokania, director of Bruck Pharma, a Daman-based pharmaceutical company that manufactures Remdesivir vials, was questioned on Saturday night, the police official said.

Police have said that they had information that the Remdesivir stock was going to be flown abroad by air cargo, despite a ban on the export of the drug.

“Dokania was questioned at the BKC police station,” the official said, adding that the cops later allowed him to go, but asked him to remain present for inquiry whenever he is called.

“While the director of the pharma company was brought for questioning at the police station, a team of the Food and Drugs Administration was also present there,” Mumbai police spokesperson S Chaitanya said in a statement on Sunday.

The commissioner and the joint commissioner of the FDA were also aware of the questioning, the statement said.

Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had visited the police station on Saturday night along with other BJP leaders. Fadnavis had enquired why the director of the pharmaceutical company was called to the police station, he said in the statement.

Fadnavis had also said that permission was taken from the FDA commissioner to donate the stock of Remdesevir vials to the Maharashtra government, as Remdesevir stocked for export cannot be diverted to the domestic market without the nod of the Drugs Controller General of India or the FDA.

The communication from the FDA to the pharmaceutical company was not shared with the BKC police station, which was acting independently on the information available with them, said the Mumbai police spokesperson.

“Mumbai police acted in good faith,” the statement said, adding that the pharma company director was called for inquiry in order to trace and seize a large quantity of 60,000 vials of Remdesevir based on specific verified inputs.

This inquiry was necessary in light of complaints of rampant hoarding and black marketing of Remdesevir and shortage being faced by citizens, it added.

These facts were explained to the Leaders of Opposition. They were informed that necessary legal action will be taken against those illegally hoarding Remdesevir.

Senior officers of Mumbai Police were also present, the statement added.

Meanwhile, another senior police official said the stock of 60,000 vials has not been seized yet.