A broad visionary towards dealings of Covid assets in the black market

“It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not. It’s unethical”

Black marketing is an activity of exchange or reciprocity of goods that occurs by unsanctioned means and channels. It deals in the trading of goods and services by unfair means to avoid paying taxes.
The recent predicament and murky situations of COVID-19, a lethal virus that is causing thousands of deaths every day have enhanced the production of Black-Marketing with a “GREAT BOOM”. The dreadful scenarios where many are helpless to get the right and appropriate treatment and medications, black marketed products are the new bright rays of hope and basis of survival. As our government is failing miserably to fulfill the vital requirements and supplies which are needed to fight against the deadly virus, people’s inclination towards black market is rapidly increasing. It has crossed the peak and is still expanding, and it is generating a very negative impact on the Indian economy as all such transactions have not been marked or traced anywhere under the government’s consideration.

Looking at the present appalling scenarios we as a team of four collectively decided that this topic should be taken into everyone’s consideration as soon as possible, so that a desirable necessary action is taken against it so, here we presents our piece of work on the same, where we have tried to muster the attention of our readers by presenting the recent statistics value ,case-studies and necessitate actions or solutions for the same.

SHADY DEALINGS: A CRIME OR A NEED?

In situations like pandemic, many medications such as Remdesivir, fabiflu, and tocilizumab which are given to the corona patients of critical end stages are being exploited and are getting turned into the black category. The country which is considered one of the leading countries in the pharmaceutical sector is experiencing a shortage of medical supplies and hence, people are forced to opt for the unethical means of black marketing to save the precious lives of their close ones. The problem lies in the recent observed exponential growth in production of the black world as enough supplies are not reaching the desired hands for help as many supplies of medications or oxygen cylinders are getting black. The enhancement in the production of the black sector has resulted in a tremendous rise in prices of medicines used in the treatment of COVID 19 and oxygen supplies which indeed again is a substantial concern. The government is also wisely considered and is taking a very desirable and imperative action for the same.

So readers, when we look at the given chart, we would come to know how pharma-sector was confident about fulfilling the supply chain of medical resources. But the results as we can see says otherwise. According to the media, demand is at a very high rate but production rate is not enough to meet those demands.[1]

The medication exchange overall is likely a standout amongst other known and profoundly apparent illicit businesses today. At whatever point there is a huge interest of medications than is promptly accessible or costs on a specific thing are controlled, a bootleg market can create and flourish. Coronavirus catastrophe demonstrated out to be probably the greatest time for sprouting of bootleg trades and Indians are going to the underground market to save lives of their friends and family. In the midst of the emergency when help and backing is taking long to show up, many have gone to the bootleg trades for provisions and meds which thus prompts the unnecessarily raised costs of the assets. The given outline demonstrates everything:

Favipiravir sold as the brand name Fabiflu before the Coronavirus emergency was sold at $15 which is around 1100 INR but now it is being sold at $133 or 9700 INR. The graph shows different such models where misuse of the situation has occurred.

Comparable heart-rendering scenes are unfurling across the Indian subcontinent with frantic individuals taking to online media to ask for beds, oxygen and drugs. While India is a main maker of medication all around the world, its guideline of medications was poor even before the pandemic. What’s more, mounting despair is driving individuals to have a go at anything.

A SNEAK PEEK TO THE CASES AROUND US

Sitting at our respective homes in isolation won’t help to combat this situation, we should understand the sensitivity of the matter and thus here we present a small collection of case studies which will help our readers to understand how inexorable it is to take the desirable manoeuvre for the same.

  1. Even withinside the segment of developing deaths and hundreds getting inflamed with Coronavirus withinside the State, black-marketing and hoarding of existence saving drug treatments and the essential clinical system is rampant withinside the State. Even withinside the segment of developing deaths and hundreds getting inflamed with Coronavirus withinside the State, black-marketing and hoarding of existence saving drug treatments and the essential clinical system is rampant withinside the State. Right from portable oxygen cylinders to Remdesivir injection, authorities have constant the charge of existence saving Remdesivir injection, numerous pharmacists throughout the State are said to be charging astronomical charges for it. Also, there are middlemen at hospitals fleecing the demise of sufferers with the aid of using charging them as lots as Rs 1.5 lakh for six vials of the injection. authorities have constant the charge of existence saving Remdesivir injection, numerous pharmacists throughout the State are said to be charging astronomical charges for it. Also, there are middlemen at hospitals fleecing the demise of sufferers with the aid of using charging them as lots as Rs 1.5 lakh for six vials of the injection. Ranchi SDM Utkarsh Gupta raided a few medical stores on April 23 and found that PPE kits and other equipment were being sold at 4-5 times higher rates than their MRP. It was found that a PPE kit of MRP Rs 210 was being sold at Rs 800. [2]
  2. A gang comprising a physician and 3 others has been nabbed by the Surat police for black-marketing of the essential Covid-19 drug Remdesivir. A cuplrit named Kakadia,age 23, is a resident of Gautam Park near Kargil Chowk, and his partners in crime were Bhadresh Babu Nakarni and Dr Sahil Vinu Chaudhary. The Surat Police found that they had three packages of Remdesivir injections, cash of Rs 63,500, a bike and other items worth total Rs 1.23 lakh were found from the accused.[3]
  3. Mumbai doctor, 2 others arrested for selling Remdesivir in black market. Three men including a specialist were captured on Tuesday on charges of selling Remdesivir infusion in Mumbai’s quickly developing black market for the key antiviral medication for Covid-19 patients that is hard to find, the Mumbai police said on Wednesday. The Malwani police had gotten a hint that two individuals were accumulating infusions purchased from chemist shops to offer them at a markup to individuals desperate for the antiviral medication. Culprit involved :- Two men – Siddharth Yadav (21 year old) , Rizwan Mansuri (32 year old), a physician, were captured a short while after 7.30 pm on Tuesday when they turned up at Mumbai’s Charkop Naka to convey the infusions. Two were questioned about their source for the injections. [4]
  4. On the night time of June 8, Joel Pinto set out on an 18-hour pressure from Chennai to Hyderabad and back, all for a single injection of 648 mg for his father, who was suffering from Covid-19 in a Chennai hospital. The physicians had prescribed tocilizumab as a vital medicine for Pinto’s father’s life, however, they requested him to arrange the 800 mg vial of the drugs himself as they did now no longer have it. Pinto chose to drive to Hyderabad as the vendor there offered a better price of Rs. 92,672 instead of medicines offered to him by a local vendor at Rs. 1.5 lakh. His dad was given a bill of Rs. 10.26 lakh after 30 days of hospitalization. But their medical insurance only covered Rs. 4.5 lakh only of treatment cost, Pintos and his family had to spend Rs 6.6 lakh plus the cost of tocilizumab.[5]
  5. Delhi Police captured four guilty parties regarding claimed dark showcasing of Remdesivir. DCP (Crime Branch) Monika Bhardwaj said the captured men have been distinguished as Talwinder Singh, Jitender Kumar, Mohammed Shoaib, and Mohan Jha. All out 81 infusions have been recuperated from their ownership. We came to realize that there’s a progression of people associated with this organization of unlawful storing and providing of medication for the cure of COVID-19 patients, A guilty party Talwinder functions as an inventory specialist for careful gear. Mohan and Shoaib had been included withinside the conveyance of veils and careful gadgets to clinics and clinical shops. Jitender is a proprietor of a messenger organization in Chandni Chowk. In the wake of loading, they started out advancing at a cost between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000 and circled their numbers on the web. At that point they called individuals and requested them to give vials from Remdesivir infusions to them.[6]
  6. The police in Lucknow captured 10 people in 3 exceptional cases on costs of selling Remdesivir infusions at a cost higher than the endorsed one.
    • Case 1: In Thakurganj, police expressed they captured 4 people, comprising of two specialists, on charges of purportedly selling Remdesivir at a greater cost. Police expressed they recuperated 34 infusions from them.
    • Case 2: In the Naka Hindola region, a nursing legally binding staff at the public authority run King George’s Medical University and a nursing staff at a non-general wellbeing office have been among four held with 116 Remdesivir infusions. “They utilized codes like ‘roti’ and ‘lunch box’ with one another to sell Remdesivir,” said the Lucknow Police.
    • Case3: In Aminabad, 11 Remdesivir injections have been recuperated from captured people.[7]
  7. Four men were captured over supposed black marketing of oxygen concentrators in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony region. The accused have been identified as:- Gaurav (47-year-old), a resident of Lajpat Nagar, Satish Sethi (44 year old), a resident of East of Kailash; Vikrant (29 year old), a resident of Mahipalpur; Hitesh (32 year old), a resident of Arjun Nagar. According to police, they have recovered 419 oxygen concentrators that were to be sold in black market. Police also searched a total of 32 boxes of oxygen concentrators having a capacity of nine and five liters, one box of the thermal scanner, and one box containing N 95 masks. During interrogation, the accused disclosed about their warehouse in Khullar Farm at Mandi Village in Chhatarpur, and 387 more units of oxygen concentrators were recovered which were being sold at exorbitant prices in the black market.[8]

“Promising solutions to tackle the quandary”

Keeping track with present scenarios of rise in black marketing every state government is indeed very much considered and is taking extreme desirable actions for the same, whether it is providing cops protection or inserting GPS devices on oxygen cylinders to trace the location once they get dispatched from their respective production centers. It’s the toughest times we all are going through and the state government is leaving no stones unturned to provide the public the vital goods and services. Many strong actions have been taken regarding the same, few of them are as follows–

  • In UTTAR PRADESH, Government is getting very stern towards the arising concern of black marketing. They have decided to invoke the provisions of NSA(National Security Act) against the people who have their roots associated with the black market and also respected chief minister of the state with the largest population, also ordered the insertion of GPS devices on the oxygen cylinder to ensure that the supplies reach the desired concerned authorities instead of getting black.[9]
  • In TAMIL NADU, the Government started selling the supplies of ‘REMDESIVIR’ at the government hospitals at merely 1,565 INR which is a very decent amount as compared with what people purchasing under the black category.[10]
  • In JHARKHAND, the high court ranted the drug controller for miserably failing in maintaining the equilibrium between the demand and supplies produced as per the reports published on 17th April 2021. Also, the government was requested to make some sincere endeavors towards the supplies of favipiravir and remdesivir due to which the government has now started updating the public regarding the availability of supplies through newspapers in nearby areas of Ranchi.[11]
  • DELHI being one of the most worst affected states has also set up helpline numbers and websites for the same. These are being monitored 24*7 to trace any case of malpractice so observed.
  • HARYANA is also concerned with the lethal attacks of the virus and hence like Delhi, it also launches anti-black marketing COVID helplines. Also, Haryana’s deputy chief minister MR. DUSHYANT CHAUTLA has written to the union minister of public distribution and has requested the central government to consider all the important necessary supplies like oxygen cylinders, medicaments like remdesivir all should be included in the list of essential goods under the act of Essential Commodities Act to ensure uninterrupted production.[12]
  • MAHARASHTRA government has drafted the whole plan to ensure the continuous distribution of the supplies. They have recruited stockists in each district to keep a check on the supplies production and demand.[13]
  • In ODISHA, a three-membered state-level committee has been formed, that will strictly monitor the market and will take the must action whenever needed. The committee will check the district-wise availability of essential medical supplies and will ensure that the officers conducting raids, search and seizure get full cooperation from various agencies including police wherever required.[14]

WE TOO DECIDED TO CONTRIBUTE AND SHOW OUR CONCERN FOR THE SAME AND HENCE WE CAME UP WITH OUR OWN DRIVE ‘COVID SADHAN’.

It is the time to realize the need of the hour and to think about the ways that we as the citizens of the country can do to join our hands with the government to bring the malpractices of black marketing to an end. Many such websites and helpline numbers are being run by many NGOs, if feasible we should also start drives of anti-black marketing practices. It feels immense pleasure to tell you that we at DELHI PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES AND RESEARCH UNIVERSITY, NEW DELHI [DPSRU] have launched a drive for the same, we the students of DPSRU are working together for our self-made drive COVID SADHAN , where an assigned team of students are constantly working to provide the verified details regarding the vital essentials. The team is very judiciously optimizing the social media platforms for the stated concern and is reaching to the larger mast for help.

References:

  1. https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/covid-19-pharma-supply-chains/
  2. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2021/state-editions/black-marketing-of-medicine–equipment-on-rise.html
  3. https://ahmedabadmirror.com/black-marketing-of-remdesivir-surat-doctor-3-others-held/81798978.html
  4. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2021/state-editions/black-marketing-of-medicine–equipment-on-rise.html
  5. https://scroll.in/article/966644/in-india-black-markets-for-tocilizumab-spring-up-as-demand-for-the-covid-19-drug-surges
  6. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/remdesivir-black-marketing-delhi-police-7288339/
  7. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lucknow-police-launch-drive-to-check-black-marketing-of-covid-19-drugs/article34397377.ece
  8. https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/delhi-coronavirus-news-four-arrested-for-black-marketing-of-oxygen-concentrators-police-2436755
  9. https://news.abplive.com/states/up-uk/oxygen-vehicles-in-up-to-have-gps-tracking-1453936
  10. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tamil-nadu-govt-hospital-sells-remdesivir-prevent-black-marketing-1795700-2021-04-28
  11. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/jharkhand-hc-covid19-raps-drug-controller-asks-govt-to-ensure-adequate-supply-of-drugs-oxygen-173273
  12. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/haryana-police-launches-anti-black-marketing-covid-helplines-101619373907534.html
  13. https://www.mumbailive.com/en/health/maharashtra-government-action-plan-for-purchase-remdesivir-injection-63800
  14. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2021/apr/17/odisha-government-forms-high-level-panel-to-curb-black-marketing-of-covid-drugs-2291114.html
  15. https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/healthcare/robust-mechanism-needed-to-check-pilferage-black-marketing-of-covid-vax/79822218

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