CR Patil’s stock of ‘free remdesivir’ came from Zydus Healthcare
Zydus Hospital stopped distributing the injection the same day BJP announced its free drug programme
Surat: On Friday evening, Zydus Cadila Healthcare announced its decision to stop distributing Remdec, its generic version of injectable drug remdesivir, at its hospital in Ahmedabad’s Thaltej area. A few minutes later, CR Patil, the state unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party made an announcement of his own—the BJP would distribute 5,000 remdesivir injections at the party office in Surat on Saturday.
According to an investigation by a leading local daily, this was no coincidence.
The report points out that the pharma major did not supply any Remdec to patients in Ahmedabad over the weekend, despite a request from Union Minister of State for Pharmaceuticals Mansukh Mandaviya. During these two days, the BJP distributed 1,900 of these injections in Surat.
Further, it rubbishes the claims of BJP’s Majura Gate MLA Harsh Sanghvi, who said the party had procured the medication from states with a low incidence of COVID-19. In fact, Sanghvi had said that the injections were bought from Congress-ruled states. According to photographs that accompany the report, the injections distributed in Surat were manufactured last month by Zydus Healthcare at its Vatva plant in Ahmedabad district with the batch number V10D122, and an expiry date of February 2022.
Since the report appeared, Congress spokesperson Jayrajsinh Parmar has also demanded that MLA Sanghvi should produce a bill before the public to establish where—and from whom—the party purchased the drugs.
With this, the onus is now on the BJP to share details on where it procured the medication and also on Zydus Pharma Healthcare to reveal to which state this specific batch was supplied and which distributor had bought it.
On Monday, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi—in reply to a question raised by the court in its suo motu on the COVID-19 situation—defended the BJP’s remdesivir distribution in the name of charity with good intentions, but also submitted before the first division that the situation could have been avoided.