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Maharashtra Remdesivir Row: FDA Commissioner Transferred 

According to an official, 2004-batch IAS officer Parimal Singh has succeeded Kale.

Updated
India
2 min read
As the chief of FDA, Singh will be responsible for overseeing the procurement of the anti-viral drug, which is used in the treatment of COVID-19, from private companies.
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The Maharashtra government on Tuesday, 20 April, transferred Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Abhimanyu Kale amid a controversy over the procurement of Remdesivir vials in the state.

2004-batch IAS officer Parimal Singh has succeeded Kale, an official said, news agency PTI reported.

As the chief of FDA, Singh will be responsible for overseeing the procurement of the anti-viral drug, which is used in the treatment of COVID-19, from private companies, as the state sees an unprecedented surge in infections.

What Had Happened?

Kale had signed off a permission on Saturday, 17 April, to Bruck Pharma, a private Daman-based pharmaceutical company to supply the drug in Maharashtra.

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This came in context of the Maharashtra Police claiming they were probing a case of alleged ‘illegal’ export of Remdesivir by the company. In a press note released on the next day, DCP (operations) and PRO for Mumbai Commissioner of Police, Chaitanya S, explained what had happened on the night of 17 April.

He said that the police had “specific information about the stock of a large quantity (60,000 vials) of Remdesevir by a pharmaceutical company”, which could not be exported due to an existing ban by the Government of India on its export.

Since Saturday, the ruling MVA and BJP have been engaged in a political war of claims over the procurement of the drug, with the government alleging that the Centre pressured manufacturers to not supply it to the state of Maharashtra.

The Mumbai Police on Saturday summoned the director of Bruck Pharma to question them as part of a probe.

Following which, BJP leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and another BJP member Praveen Darekar rushed to the police station, questioning why the director had been called in when the FDA had given permission for procurement of the drug.

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