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A Raju, Hyderabad June 30 , 2020
With several Indian pharma companies and even some of the Ayush medicine manufacturing firms in India coming up with claims of having invented and developed new drugs for treating the deadly COVID-19, Dr. Akula Sanjay Reddy, a member of Telangana State Pharmacy Council (TSPC), has cautioned the common people that they should not fall prey to the false claims of these pharma companies.

Rejecting all these claims by the pharma and Ayush companies as false and misleading, he urged the people not to fall prey to their false claims and advised them to take all precautions to make sure they are safe from getting infected with the deadly coronavirus. He opined that all such claims by these pharma companies are nothing but mere marketing gimmicks to promote themselves in the market to sell their repurposed antiviral drugs to the public and trying to gain big profits taking advantage of the prevailing fear of spreading coronavirus.

Dr. Reddy alleged that such claims of discovering new medicines or inventing new drugs by some companies amounts to misleading the public as they have done nothing but repurposed and reinvented the existing medicines and manufacturing generic versions of the same with their own brand names. The DCGI has only permitted them to use the repurposed medicines in emergency for experimental purpose, observed the TSPC member.

He also expressed his concern that the misleading claims of pharma companies are sending wrong signals among the public, who are misled and may not take preventive precautions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. “In my opinion, misleading statements by certain pharma companies of discovering new medicine for COVID-19 will lead to further spread of coronavirus as people may tend to move freely without taking precautions in the hope that they may get cured even if they are contracted with the coronavirus. This kind of situation is very dangerous for the society and therefore in my opinion the pharma companies must restrain from making any kind of public statements of drug discovery until and unless a real medicine or vaccine is developed for curing the dreaded coronavirus,” opined Dr. Reddy.

Expressing his opinion, the TSPC member said that the pharma companies like Hetero and Glenmark who have claimed of developing repurposed drugs of existing brands to treat COVID is not fully clinically proven nor has it been approved by DCGI, ICMR or the global regulator US FDA. There is also no data fully available to prove their claims. “Some pharma companies have only repurposed the existing medicines like favipiravir and remdesiver and others which are showing some effect in containing the severity and impact of the virus. The DCGI has approved these repurposed medicines to be used only during emergency as an experimental drug under the supervision of specialist doctors. Taking this as an advantage, some pharma companies are pitching in to earn big profits by promoting themselves widely which is not correct,” informed the TSPC member.
 
Across the globe, more than 54 leading pharma companies are working day-in and day-out for inventing or discovering a cure or treatment procedure to contain the COVID-19 disease and they are yet to come out with a completely perfect, effective and safe medicine or vaccine. Until then the people should not get misled by the false claims made by the pharma companies and need to follow complete precautions to make sure they are not contracted with the COVID-19 disease, observed Dr Reddy.

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