Instead of 1, more firms should be allowed to make Covid vaccine: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has suggested that more than one pharma company should be allowed to make vaccines against coronavirus as India’s covid vaccination drive hampered due to acute shortages.

The Minister for Road Transport & Highways said that if vaccine demand is more than supply ‘it creates problem’.

He said, “Instead of 1, let 10 more companies be given license for vaccine manufacture…Let them supply in the country and later if there’s surplus, they may export”.

Addressing Vice-Chancellors of Universities in India virtually, Gadkari said he will also request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring a law for allowing more pharma companies to manufacture life-saving drugs by paying 10% royalty to the patent holder of the drug.

“Instead of one company, 10 more companies should be allowed to make vaccines by paying 10% royalty to the original patent holder of the vaccine,” he said.

Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to the Prime Minister, saying the Centre should share the vaccine formula of the two manufacturers with other capable pharmaceutical companies to scale up production in the country.

There are two vaccine-makers in the country currently — Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India — which are manufacturing Covaxin and Covishield, respectively.

These two firms can be given royalty from the profit of other companies for the use of their original formulas, Kejriwal had said.

Only three vaccines have so far been approved to be sold in India — Covaxin, Coveshield, and Sputnik V.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs website, the Centre exported 663.698 lakh “Made in India Covid-19 vaccine supplies” to 95 countries and UN health workers and peacekeepers between January and April 2021.

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