PIL Filed Before Supreme Court Seeks Revival of PSUs Which Manufacture Vaccines To Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage

first_imgTop StoriesPIL Filed Before Supreme Court Seeks Revival of PSUs Which Manufacture Vaccines To Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage Radhika Roy20 May 2021 7:15 AMShare This – xA plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking revival of vaccine Public Sector Units (PSUs) to manufacture vaccines, including the ones for COVID-19.Directions are sought for the Central Government to revive the vaccine PSUs by ensuring issuance of production licenses for the GMP compliant units, utilize their full bulk production capabilities by placement of purchase orders, give the PSUs functional autonomy for the full implementation of the Javid Chowdhary final report recommendations. It is submitted in the PIL that in a 2009 plea seeking restarting of suspended PSUs, an excuse had been made by the Centre that PSUs were not Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant in response to a grievance stating that the Government of India and certain ministers were “willfully sabotaging the public sector units manufacturing drugs and vaccines in favor of private pharma companies with a corrupt motive”. “It was expected of Respondent No. 1 to honour the commitment made to this Hon’ble Court by ensuring revival of vaccine PSUs. Unfortunately, that has not happened and these vaccine manufacturing facilities that were catering to 80-85% of the country’s vaccine demand prior to their suspension continued to languish wastefully despite their modernization and capacity expansion. This is acutely felt in the present times.” Filed by Advocate Satya Mitra, the plea avers that three central level PSUs which catered to 80% of the Universalisation Immunisation Program Vaccine supply, were arbitrarily shut down in 2008 on directions of the Drug Controller General of India. The mala fide nature of the closure was recorded in the report of the Javid Chowdhury Expert Committee. It goes on to submit that the closure was done in order to facilitate the government procuring vaccines from the private sector at prices that increased up to 52% within a year and up to 250% within 5 years of the suspension of PSUs. “During the period of their operation till 2008, vaccine costs for all the 6 essential vaccines was around Rs. 30. Maladministration, ulterior motives and corruption were at the root of the sabotage of 3 wonderful PSUs catering to 85% of the national immunization needs of children, most of them below the poverty line.” Submitting that it was unparalleled for a government to sabotage its own production and that the excuse of GMP non-compliance can be rectified by simply upgrading the production facilities, the plea states that the January 2008 order of the DGCI was motivated and caused great to Indian citizens. “The dormant status of these institutes clearly points out that Respondents are deliberately underutilizing its own resources in the Public Sector Units despite their capacity to produce and instead diverted their orders to several private sector companies…” The plea concludes on the note that the Centre’s obligation to provide health security is constitutionally mandated and it is a responsibility that cannot be left to the private sector alone. Furthermore, the ignorance has resulted in the on-going shortage of the Coronavirus vaccine due to the private monopoly. TagsSupreme Court COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage Vaccine Public Sector Units (PSUs) Next Storylast_img read more

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