Chemists across Jammu and Kashmir, realising the demand for N95 masks following the spread of the H1N1 virus have overpriced the cost of the masks.
"The administration seems to be sleeping while the common people are being fleeced. A simple N95 mask which cost below Rs.100 per piece is being sold between Rs.300 to 500 per piece" a doctor at the Government medical college hospital said, requesting anonymity.
He contended that several chemists across the city have stocked the masks and created a virtual scarcity and later sold at exorbitant rates.
Vikram Mehta, a resident of Gandhi Nagar locality said, "The chemist first said that they don't have the mask, then he told me that he has one piece left and sold the same to me at Rs. 350. I had to but it for my wife who is scared to go to her office fearing the disease."
"We too have received reports of the black-marketing of the masks by many chemists, we have requested the department of food and drug control to conduct raids on the accused chemists," Baljeet Pathania, Director Health Service Jammu said.