The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was an endorsement by the Central government on the utilization of Remdesivir and Favipiravir as meds to treat COVID-19.
The top court was hearing a supplication looking for enrollment of an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against ten Indian drug firms for producing and selling these two medications for treating COVID-19 patients allegedly without substantial licenses.
Remdesivir and Favipiravir are antiviral medications and their viability in treating COVID-19 patients has involved a discussion among clinical specialists. A seat including Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian alluded to the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2018, and said these meds have been allowed by the legislature for utilizing in the treatment of novel COVID patients.
“You have not noticed this rule (New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules) and filed this petition. We are adjourning this matter, you see the rules and then come back,” the seat told legal advisor M Sharma who has documented the PIL.
Dismissing the meeting by about fourteen days, the bench said that there is approval by the Government of India for Remdesivir and Favipiravir. Looking for a CBI probe, Sharma had recorded the PIL charging that these two prescriptions have been wrongly made and sold for treating COVID-19 patients with no legitimate licenses from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.
“That respondent no.3 to 10 are Indian pharmaceutical companies who have signed a partnership agreements with foreign companies that are Gilead Science Inc – the USA and Fujifilm Japan, to manufacture and sell impugned drug, Remdesivir and Avagin (Favipiravir) in India. Without having a license, they are manufacturing and selling impugned drugs as medicine for corona in India,” the PIL alleged.
Sharma has looked for the arraignment of the Indian companies for offenses of cheating and criminal connivance other than under the arrangements of the Drug Act, 1940.
The PIL said that these medications have not been confirmed as prescriptions for Covid-19 till date by any country.
“They are under trial and no country, including India, have issued a license to manufacture and sell them in the country. The companies are manufacturing and selling them at very high rates in India and people are paying that due to the fear of COVID-19 infection and are dying. More than 300 doctors have died in hospitals where these two medicines have been supplied and it amounted to exploitation of public due to the fear of death.” it stated.
Remdesivir was presented by Gilead Science Inc. USA to treat Ebola Virus in Africa yet it was not powerful to regard Ebola infection also. Favipiravir was manufactured by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical and was affirmed to treat Influenza. The PIL made the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as parties.
Focusing on that there were no viable prescriptions for the pandemic, the plea said, “The Prime Minister has already initiated the process with Russia to import the COVID-19 vaccine to manufacture/distribute in India through PSU Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL)/.”