Some pharmacies in Chennai are selling Tamiflu
(oseltamivir), the anti-viral medication used to treat H1N1 flu, at inflated prices, say
While the state government has permitted only a few private
pharmacies to sell the medication, a handful of unauthorized pharmacies are
making a quick buck by selling the anti-viral medication at exorbitant rates.
A senior official in the directorate of public health said they had received
information of some pharmacies hoarding H1N1 drugs and selling it at a higher
price. While 10 capsules of the drug cost around `200, officials said they have
received complaints that some pharmacies are `600 for a strip of 10 capsules.
The tablets are supplied free of cost at government hospitals.
Many people have been taking the drug, instead of approaching a doctor for
treatment for a cold or a fever. Medical experts said there was no need to
consume the drug if not prescribed by a physician.
"Only pharmacies that have the schedule X license
are permitted to sell Tamiflu. It is possible that these unauthorized
pharmacies are procuring the drug directly from the manufacturers and selling
it illegally to the public," said a senior health official.