New Delhi, Apr 30: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre why it is not allowing the production of generic Covid drugs to overcome the shortage.
A generic drug contains the same chemical substance as the originally protected by chemical patents. They are allowed for sale after the patents on the original drugs expire.
The Apex Court cited the Bangladesh example which has developed a generic drug for Remdesivir and is exporting the same to other countries and Jharkhand has proposed to import the same from Bangladesh.
Remdesivir is being used to treat Covid patients but its effectiveness is till yet not scientifically proved. There is an acute shortage of these drugs in various parts of the country and is being sold in the black market at exorbitant prices.
It asked why should the Court not issue directions under Section 100 and Section 92 of Patents Act to enable generics to manufacture Covid-drugs without the fear of legal action, in order to overcome the shortage.
“Is the logistical concern more important than the right to health”, Supreme Court asked.
The court also asked the Central Government if testing labs have been directed to track the mutant variant of Covid-19.
“The new variant is not getting detected in RT-PCR tests. Medical centres are driving away patients without positive report or charge high sums. How is this being regulated?” the Apex Court asked.
The queries from the Apex Court came during the hearing of suo moto case over the Covid crisis and related issues (In Re Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services during Pandemic).