A BBC examination has discovered that two life-sparing medications used to treat Covid-19 patients in India – remdesivir and tocilizumab – are hard to find and being sold for exorbitant rates on a flourishing bootleg market. Vikas Pandey reports from the capital Delhi.

Abhinav Sharma’s uncle had high fever and trouble breathing when he was admitted to an emergency clinic in Delhi.

He tried positive for coronavirus and specialists advised the family to get remdesivir – an antiviral medication that has been endorsed in India for clinical preliminary and furthermore under “crisis use authorisation”, which means specialists can recommend it on sympathetic grounds.

Be that as it may, securing it demonstrated an outlandish assignment – remdesivir didn’t appear to be accessible anyplace.

Mr Sharma frantically called individuals to mastermind the medication as his uncle’s condition disintegrated continuously.

“I had tears in my eyes. My uncle was battling for his life and I was attempting to organize the medication that might spare him,” he said.

“After many calls, I followed through on multiple times the cost to get the medication. I was happy to follow through on any cost truly, however my heart goes out to individuals who can’t bear the cost of it,” he said.

Mr Sharma’s predicament is recognizable to numerous families in Delhi, edgy to take the necessary steps to spare their friends and family. Some state they have been compelled to follow through on over the top costs for the medication – a significant number of those winding up at a medication advertise in old Delhi.

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The BBC had the option to interface with individuals working at the market who said they could mastermind the medication, yet at the correct cost.

“I can get you three vials – yet each will cost 30,000 rupees [$401; £321] and you need to come immediately,” said small time, who asserted he worked in the “medication business”.

The official cost for every vial is 5,400 rupees, and a patient commonly needs five to six portions. Another man cited 38,000 rupees for every vial.

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The interest for remdesivir is driven by the way that it has figured out how to cut the span of Covid side effects from 15 days down to 11 in clinical preliminary at emergency clinics around the globe.

Specialists have cautioned that it’s no “silver shot”. Be that as it may, without any demonstrated medication, specialists are progressively endorsing it in India, driving interest in Delhi and other Indian urban communities.


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