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

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
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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.