Maharashtra: Mystery deepens how Fadnavis got 60K Remdesivir vials

Mumbai: The mystery deepens in the ongoing controversy over the Mumbai police investigation into the stock of 60,000 vials of Remdesivir and its move to summon the Bruck Pharma director for questioning on Saturday and the subsequent visits by BJP leaders to the police station in the latter’s defence.

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Abhimanyu Kale in a letter dated April 17 had given permission to Bruck Pharma for supply and trade of Remdesivir in Maharashtra only after complying the necessary requirements. The permission letter is in the possession of the Free Press Journal. Kale, who granted the permission under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules asked the company to submit the details of production and distribution. There was no mention of allowing Bruck Pharma to distribute the Remdesivir to anybody else other than the state government.

An FDA officer told FPJ, “As the Remdesivir vials were meant for export, Bruck Pharma was told to first seek approval from the FDA Daman and then it will be permitted for supply and trade to the Maharashtra Government. There was no question of allowing Bruck Pharma to supply Remdesivir from its stock to any political party or individual.”’ “We have no knowledge of how the leaders of opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar became involved in efforts to procure Remdesivir for the state. ‘’The FDA had not given permission to BJP or any other party for the procurement of Remdesivir,’’ the officer said.

Kale in his letter, which was issued to the company after 8 pm on Saturday, said, ‘’This is to inform you that the produce Remdesivir for injection 100 mg/vial, manufactured by you at the premises situated at S NO 188/1, 6, 189/land 1902 to 4 , Atiyawad, Dahel, Daman (UT) which is granted to you for export purpose and was planned for an export is hereby allowed to be distributed under emergency and very high demanding situation of COVID 19 pandemic for Maharashtra Government supply or trade in Maharashtra state only after complying with the necessary requirements.’’

Interestingly, the Bruck Phama had sought FDA’s permission through its letter on April 17 to supply Remdesivir injection and sale in the local market of Maharashtra. The company in its letter said: “We have a ready stock of Remdesivir injection approximately 8,000 vials which can be delivered shortly. We will be grateful to get the chance to supply the product of Remdesivir injection to the Government of Maharashtra as well as to the local market of Maharashtra subject to approval from FDA, Daman. In this regard, we are ready to submit the required documents to the FDA of Maharashtra.’’

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