BHUBANESWAR: Around 40,600 spurious Covid drug favipiravir tablets were shipped from Odisha to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh after these were brought from Noida in Uttar Pradesh to Cuttack, authorities here said on Saturday.
Quoting preliminary findings, state drugs controller AS Das said after it came to light that a Cuttack-based dealer has sent the tablets to Gwalior, the authorities in Madhya Pradesh have been alerted.

“While a consignment of 17,000 tablets were seized from an outlet in Cuttack, no spurious medicine of the particular consignment has been used in any patient in the state. However, further probe is on to find out if any earlier consignment has come to the state and distributed to any retailer and through them to any patient,” Das told TOI.
The spurious medicines were seized in an old godown of a wholsale trader at Kanika Chowk of Cuttack. Value of the seized consignment would have fetched Rs 69 lakh if sold in the market illegally. While the medicine mentioned it was manufactured by a firm in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, no such manufacturer exists there. “The dealer is being quizzed further,” Das said.

Though direct shipping the product from Noida to Gwalior would have meant a far shorter distance, why it was routed via Cuttack is being probed. Also, inquiry is on to find out if Cuttack was a transit point to other locations as well.

Additional chief secretary (health) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said dumping of such large quantities of the spurious drug in Odisha is surprising because the state has enough stocks of medicines procured from authorised agencies.
“Odisha has enough stock of around 22 lakh tablets of favipiravir while the daily consumption is around 3,000 to 4000 tablets. Since most of the patients who need it are getting it free of cost from the government, there is no demand in the market. Investigations will find out why it was still shipped to Odisha,” he said.


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