The Delhi High Court on Monday (May 3) issued notice to the Centre and various pharma majors asking them to respond to a PIL seeking that all drug firms involved in the making Remdesivir be allowed to sell it in the domestic market.
The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued the notice to the Health Ministry, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Director General of Foreign Trade, and various pharma companies, like Cipla, Zydus, and Cadila, seeking their stand on the issue.
The plea before the Court
The plea has been filed by Dincur Bajaj, who is himself an Advocate, through advocates Amit Saxena (the Joint Secretary of the Delhi High Court Bar Association) and Imran Ali and it sought directions to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, among others, to immediately Grant Permission for Local Sale of the Lifesaving Drug 'REMDESIVIR', manufactured and produced by companies in India for the purpose of Export only, so that availability of this Lifesaving Drug i.e. REMDESIVIR is ensured for every Covid Affected person in the country.
The plea states that the Govt. of India has rightfully banned the Export of the Lifesaving Drug 'REMDESIVIR' but has unfortunately not Allowed the Domestic Sale of the Drug, so manufactured and produced by companies in India which is meant for the purpose of Export only.
It further states that only 5 or 6 Indian pharmaceutical companies have been given the right/license to produce and sell the drug 'Remdesivir' in India whereas there are Several Other Firms which are Manufacturing the Drug but are permitted to produce the same for Export purpose Only and Not Allowed to Sell the said Drug in India.
Referring to media reports, the plea submits that exporting firms have around more than 20 lakhs vial ready in stock, and that huge stocks lying at the ports, Container Depots which were ready to be exported and also that they have a huge production capacity i.e their capacity to produce around 5,00,000 doses per day.
The plea submits that if such local/domestic sale of lifesaving drug Ramdesivir is allowed, it would save the life of the general public at large who are suffering from the pandemic and that the black marketing of the drug would be stopped and it would be available to every person at an affordable rate.
Lastly, the plea submits that the scarcity of Remdesivir is causing its extensive black-marketing and the black marketers are charging prices up to Rs 1,00,000 per vial, due to its non-availability.
Prayers in the plea
- Direct the respondents to take Immediate decision of the Domestic Sale of Lifesaving Drug i.e. "REMDESIVIR" produced, manufactured by companies in India meant for the purpose of Export which are lying in Ports, Container Depots etc.
- Direct respondents to allow the Domestic Sale of the lifesaving drug i.e. "Remdesivir" which is so recovered from the export houses, ports, container depots etc. which have been produced and manufactured by companies in India for the purpose of Export
- Direct the respondents to immediately allow/grant all such Licenses (to such already manufacturing units of 'Remedesivir' for Export) as may be necessary for the Manufacture and for purpose of Local/domestic Sale of the lifesaving drug i.e. "Remdesivir" produced and manufactured by companies in India for the purpose of Export