oppn parties Covid Vaccines: Patent Waiver Will Ensure Fast And Easy Availability At Reasonable Cost

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  • Supreme Court sentences Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year rigorous imprisonment in the 1988 road rage case
  • Home Minister Amit Shah says rights should not be demanded before fulfilling responsibilities and that universities are no place to wage ideological battles
  • NIA court convicts JKLF chief Yasin Malik in terror funding case after he pleads guilty of all charges
  • A study backed by PM-EAC has recommended universal basic income and urban job guarantee and greater spend on social sector schemes
  • Supreme Court rules that the decisions of the GST Council are not binding on the Centre and the states, leaving the door open for states to levy further taxes
  • After sustained campaign by BJP MP Arjun Singh, the Centre today withdrew the jute price cap order, industry welcomes move
  • Akasa Air might postpone its July launch due to late arrival of aircrafts
  • Metro Cash & Carry decides to sell Indian operations. All major players, including Reliance retail and Amazon, are likely to bid
  • Local and global cues spook the markets on Friday - Sensex crashes 1416 points to 52792 and Nifty by 430 points to 15809
  • IPL: RCB crushes GT by 8 wickets as Virat Kohli returns to form with a well-made half century
  • Nikhat Zareen is world champion in flyweight category. Wins gold at Women's World Championships at Instanbul
  • Supreme Court uses its special powers under Article 124 to release A G Perarivalan, a Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict
  • Indrani Mukherjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, gets bail from Supreme Court after 6.5 years in jail
  • Hardik Patel quits Congress, says top leaders distracted by mobile phones and state leadership busy arranging 'chicken sandwiches' for them
  • Anil Baijal resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi citing "personal reasons"
Nikhat Zareen is crowned world champion in the flyweight (52Kg) category at the Women's World Championships in Istanbul /////// Supreme Court sentences Navjot Singh Sidhu to rigorous imprisonment of one year in the road rage case /////// Sunil Jakhar, who quit the Congress a few days ago, joins the BJP
oppn parties
Covid Vaccines: Patent Waiver Will Ensure Fast And Easy Availability At Reasonable Cost

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-05-08 05:29:04

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The positive response of the world community (except the European Union, more particularly Germany), especially the US, for temporary patent waiver on Covid vaccines, is laudable. There is no doubt that billions of dollars are spent in research for developing new medicines or drugs and this is especially true of Covid-related vaccines and drugs. But given the urgency and importance of these vaccines, the research for most of them was funded by governments and public money. Hence, given the nature of the pandemic there must be temporary patent waiver on these vaccines to make them available to everyone and at a cheaper cost.

Research-based and patented drugs are costly because the companies that make them need to recover more than the billions they spent in developing them to fund further research. If they are not normally allowed to price their products accordingly to recover costs and make 'super' profits for funding further research, there will be no incentive to undertake research and develop new medicines and vaccines. But when such research is funded by public money, the patent must ideally rest with the public, as is the case of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech in association with ICMR and funded by the government. In such cases, and when the entire humanity is threatened, patents must be foregone to allow all those who have the manufacturing facility to make the vaccines.

India must allow all manufacturers, both public sector units and private producers, who are capable of producing vaccines to start production of Covaxin under the compulsory licensing norms, for both SI and Bharat Biotech have made it clear that it will take time for them to ramp up their manufacturing facilities. Hence, all idle capacity in the country must now be utilized. Later, when temporary patent waiver happens, these manufacturers can make all vaccines. That would ensure easy and cheaper availability of all vaccines and India will also be able to fulfill it humanitarian obligations to other nations. For, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pointed out, "No one is safe till all are safe". All nations have to ensure that every eligible person in the world is fully vaccinated as early as possible.