RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) congratulates PM Narendra Modi and Minister of Commerce and Industries , Piyush Goyal for the submission of the joint proposal to WTO seeking the waiver of certain provisions related to protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights to facilitate the availability of affordable medical products for the effective prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID19.
“This proposal is the need of the hour where humanity needs access to affordable medical products to effectively respond to the COVID19. Though so much public money has been channelized for the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics the companies who are developing these products are not ready to share the know-how and other IP rights to facilitate generic production. In the absence of a large number of manufacturers, it would be impossible to meet the needs of the medical products required for the COVID19 response. The government should act to put an end to the greed of pharmaceutical transnational corporations,” SJM Says.
“India has been a victim of such greed. Gilead Sciences using its wrongly obtained patent to control the competition. Though Gilead granted 7 voluntary licenses to Indian generic companies there is no substantial reduction of prices. While the researchers have calculated the cost of Rmedesivir per vile is less than USD 1 i.e. Rs 75, the Indian prices are between Rs 4000 and 5400. IP protection is the primary reason for this. Further such licenses also incapacitate Indian companies to supply in middle-income countries. Various initiatives to facilitate access to medical products for COVID19 responses such as ACT-Accelerator, COVAX facility or CTAP so far failed to ensure technology transfer and local production. Instead of facilitating technology transfer ACT-Accelerator and COVAX Facility reinforces the IP regime and delay the disseminating of technology,” it has further added.
SJM urges you to take all the necessary steps for the adoption of the proposal at the WTO General Council. Towards this purpose, we request you to reach out to all the like-minded countries for the support of the proposal and create a broad coalition for the adoption of the waiver of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement.
SJM also requests you to initiate measures under Section 66 of the Patents Cat for the cancelation of the patent on Remedsivir, which was granted against the provisions of the Indian Patents Act.