RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch has called on the government to take immediate action to increase production of Covid-19 vaccines by allowing more companies to manufacture them. He has sought to lower the prices of drugs commonly used during treatment with Covid-19, such as Remdesivir.
SJM also criticized Bill Gates’ recent comment against sharing vaccine intellectual property rights with developing countries. “This is nothing but another manifestation of corporate greed to profit from the worst pandemic of the century,” he said.
“The country needs almost 195 crore of doses to cover at least 70% of the population. This cannot be fulfilled by the two companies alone. There is an urgent need to bring in more manufacturers to start production. To facilitate the transfer of technology, the government must take steps to overcome barriers to intellectual property, including patents and trade secrets, ”SJM said in a statement.
He urged the government to treat all medical products needed to respond to Covid-19 as a “global public good”.
“There is an urgent need to invoke measures such as price caps for these drugs. The prices of vaccines announced by the two companies for the public markets of the state and private hospitals are exorbitant and affect the acceleration of vaccination in the country. Unreasonable profits for drugs and vaccines are unjustifiable in all circumstances, especially in the event of a pandemic, ”said SJM.
In the case of drugs needed to treat coronavirus infections, the team said the government needs to use safeguards in patent law to bring prices down.