We are currently struggling with the most jolting health crisis. As people literally gasp for oxygen, the constantly increasing COVID-19 caseload is just making the situation worse. So many who could have been saved in ordinary conditions are dying due to a lack of proper healthcare facilities. It is heartbreaking, to say the least.
Sadly, humans never fail to disappoint us and some people have found a way to commit frauds in this crisis. Just last week, in Pune, four people were arrested for black marketing of Remdesivir (antiviral medication). In some cities, people still continue to sell key treatment medicines and oxygen for exorbitant prices.
Quite obviously, we are navigating a moral crisis amid the actual pandemic which is as terrible as it gets. And while we’d like to take a moment and ask what’s wrong with people, this is not the time. The best we can do right now is to become smart and look for effective ways to dodge such frauds. Here are a few tips on identifying fake medicines. Read on!
Remdesivir is an expensive drug and is currently falling short in India. Some frauds have been exploiting the situation to make money. Selling fake medicines happens to be one of their cheap tactics. However, experts have found discrepancies in the fake packaging and here is how you can identify a fake medicine.
Try sourcing the medicine from hospitals directly or from government drug inspectors (details can be found on your state's health ministry website). Before purchasing an expensive medicine, pull up the original picture from the brand's website and compare!
Here is how you can deal with cheats and fraud who are trying to swindle you or others in the name of medicine:
A lot of people have been complaining on social media of instances where they were asked to pay for the medicine, oxygen cylinder, etc in advance. In such cases, the suppliers or the leads simply vanished after the payments. The best way to deal with this is not to pay in advance at all.
To begin with, anyone who is asking for an inflated price right now, very well knows how much you need that thing. It is easy to spot potential frauds just by their price points. However, even if you see a little hope in the lead and think they could help, don’t pay in advance and ask for a COD instead. If it's a genuine lead, they'll agree. Or you can pay token money instead of the entire amount but only if they agree to share their PAN, GST or Aadhaar details. The cheats and frauds would leave the conversation right there and won’t pursue it any further.
It is advisable that you record your calls while reaching out to any of the medicine or oxygen leads. This way, they cannot go back on whatever they agreed upon on the call. This would also help you to track them back and report them.
If you know any shopkeepers, pharmacistssts or hospitals that are currently hoarding medicines or even ration stocks to inflate the prices, report them! Let’s show these frauds that they can’t just cheat ailing people and then get away with it.
It is indeed sad that some people can stoop to cheating and profiteering in the current crisis and that is why we urge to report such people ASAP.
We are in this together and anyone who tries to profit from a crisis deserves to get penalised for it.
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