Hyderabad: Tamiflu, an anti-viral medicine used to cure swine flu, is banned for over-the-counter but try telling that to chemists in Hyderabad.
A CNN-IBN investigation has found medicine stores in Hyderabad are preying on the fear of the swine flu and charging exorbitant for Tamiflu--Rs 3,000 for a strip of 10 tablets.
“Pay and I will you give the medicine,” one chemist told an undercover CNN-IBN reporter. The chemist was willing to willing to sell the medicine on credit.
“We don’t give credit but can’t say no to you,” said the chemist, who made it clear that he won’t give a bill for the purchase.
Another chemist was willing to deliver the medicine at home. Most chemists say they need a day to procure Tamiflu and demand a 50 per cent advance.
State health officials are giving the drug free to suspected swu flu patients, but scare about the disease is making people cough up huge amounts. Some chemists are misleading customers, offering Tamiflu as preventive medication.
“If you are traveling to a high-risk country, please take a few (tablets). Don’t think, just take it,” said one chemist.
With Hyderabad recording the highest number of Swine flu cases in India, the illegal sale of Tamiflu is becoming a money-spinner for medical store owners.
R P Meena, the director general of drugs and copyrights in Andhra Pradesh, told CNN-IBN his department does regular inspections to check the illegal sale of medicines.