Patent waiver for Covaxin under ‘serious consideration’ by Centre: DVS
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Patent waiver for Covaxin under ‘serious consideration’ by Centre: DVS

May 14, 2021

Bengaluru: Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda (DVS) on Thursday said that a proposal to suspend protection under the Patents Act for Covaxin, the home-made COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, is under ‘serious consideration.’

Speaking to newsmen here, he said a Committee had been set up to look at the patent waiver for Covaxin after the United States recently backed a move to suspend Intellectual Property (IP) Rights for Covid-19 vaccines and other key medicines.

The waiver will allow other companies to manufacture vaccine without mandatory licensing from the firm that holds the patent.

This is under very serious consideration by the Central Government. A committee with representatives from Niti Aayog, Indian Council of Medical Research and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is discussing the proposal, he said.

DVS said that the discussion to waive protection under Patent Act for Covaxin started after the Government realised that the supply of vaccines was not adequate, especially after the inoculation drive opened for people in the 18-44 age group. Despite the possible waiver of patent rights, it would take a few months to ramp up vaccine production as it cannot be done overnight. “The Government is also mulling the use of all available facilities to produce vaccines,” he said.

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