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"Doubling Production Will Not Suffice": Delhi HC Seeks Centre's Response On Production Capacity, Steps Taken To Import Drug To Treat Black Fungus

Nupur Thapliyal
20 May 2021 12:33 PM GMT
Doubling Production Will Not Suffice: Delhi HC Seeks Centres Response On Production Capacity, Steps Taken To Import Drug To Treat Black Fungus
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Observing that doubling the present production capacity of Amphotericin B drug, used to treat Black Fungus may not be sufficient, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to file status report indicating the present production capacity of the medicine, along with the enhanced production capacity of producers who have been licensed to produce the aforesaid drug. The Court...

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Observing that doubling the present production capacity of Amphotericin B drug, used to treat Black Fungus may not be sufficient, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to file status report indicating the present production capacity of the medicine, along with the enhanced production capacity of producers who have been licensed to produce the aforesaid drug. 

The Court also directed the Centre to put on record the steps taken for import of Amphotericin B for its availability throughout the country.

A division bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh ordered thus:

"Let a status report on aspect such as present production capacity, producers who have been licensed to produce and their present capacity, their enhanced capacities. Let the affidavit be filed within 3 days. Government may put on record the steps taken for import of medicines for availability of the medicine throughout the country."

The development came after the Court heard detailed submissions, on the production capacity and allocation of Amphotericin B medicine, put forth by Advocate Kirtiman Singh, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra and Advocate Nidhi Mohan Parashar.

During the course of hearing, the Court was apprised by Mehra that as per his instructions, there are 5 companies including Cipla and Bharat Biotech etc. manufacturing the said drug however, he submitted that the Central Government must clear the stand as to how many companies are there and how is the production going to be augmented.

To this, Advocate Singh submitted before the Court thus: 

"We are all in this together. This is a war we're fighting together. Today the allocation has to be done to every State. Allocation to Delhi is on the basis of case load. 2150 vials were allocated to Delhi on May 11. 600 vials were given on May 19. Further allocation will be allocated to Delhi till date. I'll give the details. On 19 May, their case load was about 200 patients and allocation was about 3%. Today the allocation totally is 15,960 all over the country, out of which 430 is allocated to Delhi which is 3%. It's all stretched. We're not in a position to do immediately about this presently. But the allocation is done all over the country on the basis of case load."

Singh also submitted before the Court that Bharat Biotech Limited will be doubling it's capacity to produce the aforesaid medicine.

At this, Justice Sanghi orally remarked "What happens is that you say that Requirement of Delhi is let's say 4,000. So if you don't have for all,then maybe you need to identify who you need to give it. There should be a Guideline. Either you have to ration it but there has to be some practical way to deal with it."

Hearing the submissions, the Court observed thus:

"Looking to the requirement, we're afraid that doubling of production will not suffice. We're of the view that Central Government should seriously consider immediate import from wherever the Medicine is available in the world."

During the first half of the hearing, the Court had directed the Amicus Curiae, Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao to convene a meeting between Chairpersons of Delhi Municipal Corporations and Delhi Developmental Authority along with the representatives of large hosptials and association in the national captial for the purpose of installing PSA oxygen plants by such Hospitals having twice capacity of oxygen than their normal requirement.

Delhi High Court Calls For Meeting For Installation Of PSA Plants By Large Hospitals Having Oxygen Capacity Twice The Normal Requirement

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