PHDCCI urges GOI to take steps for scaling up Covid-19 vaccine production

PHD Chamber has called for immediate steps to facilitate voluntary licensing for scaling up production of Covaxin, Covishield and other vaccines to meet Covid-19 vaccination demand in India

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New Delhi: As the second wave of Covid-19 has struck with a devastating impact throughout the country, with cases rising continuously, there is an urgent need to ramp up the production of Covaxin and Covishield through voluntary licensing, said Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press statement issued on 6th May, 2021.
Voluntary Licensing refers to the authorization given by the patent holder to a third party to manufacture and sell the patented product on the basis of mutually agreed terms.
As per Sanjay Aggarwal, the second wave of Pandemic COVID-19 is spreading faster than the first wave and affecting almost every household in India. “At this critical juncture, there is a need to urgently provide licensing of production of Covaxin, Covishield, and Sputnik.”
Compulsory Licensing is another way of granting a license by the Government to a third party to use the patent, however, this may not be very useful in the case of manufacturing technologically advanced Covid-19 vaccinations, said Sanjay Aggarwal.
Aggarwal added: “At this juncture, the Government should facilitate and encourage Bharat Biotech, Oxford-Astra Zeneca, and RDIF to grant Voluntary Licenses along with transfer of technology, even if for a limited period of one year,  for the production of Covaxin, Covishield, and Sputnik to more and more pharmaceutical companies in India on mutually accepted terms so as to maximize the production and supply of vaccines in the country.”
He also stated that the government should try to incentivize directly the foreign companies which own the patents for the other Covid-19 vaccines also grant licenses and transfer technology to domestic pharmaceutical companies in India.
“There is also a need to provide assurance for procurement of full production from both the existing manufacturers and the proposed new licensees of the vaccine doses produced by them so to encourage them to expand the facilities and ramp up the manufacturing. To control the extent of the second wave of COVID-19, adequate availability and rapid administration of COVID-19 vaccination is very crucial. This will help the country to tide over this emergency and save a huge number of lives,” concluded Aggarwal.