New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has launched a digital signature campaign that appeals to the government to use its sovereign rights to grant a compulsory licence to more pharmaceutical companies for the production of COVID vaccines and medicines.

“Humanity is facing the worst medical crisis these days due to the second wave of the COVID-19. To deal with the situation, the country needs a sufficient supply of vaccines, medicines and different types of medical equipment. Patent protection is the major barrier to the generic production of these medicines,” the SJM said on Monday.

It urged the people to sign its petition which appeals to “the government for taking necessary steps including using its sovereign rights to grant the compulsory license to other pharma manufacturers to produce vaccines and medicines.”

The SJM said that it “firmly believes” that many Indian manufacturers have the capacity and expertise in the production of essential medicines and vaccines, provided intellectual property rights hurdles are removed with technology transfer and trade secret issues resolved.

The RSS affiliate noted that many Indian companies are already making Remdesivir under voluntary licence. However, it said, the quantity is not sufficient to meet the demand, and the price is also “very high” from the point of view of affordability.

The SJM said it understands that the government needs to use the public health safeguards in the Patents Act and permit more companies to produce these medicines in the coming days.

“As we may be requiring nearly 2 billion doses of vaccine in the next 6 months, we need to involve many more companies in manufacturing of these vaccines,” it underlined.

“It's heartening to note that licences have already been issued to many companies for Covaxin and also for Remdesivir. We may have to multiply these efforts.”

The SJM reiterated its demand for declaring all medical products required to respond to COVID 19 as “global public good”, and put an end to “profiteering” to serve the needy in these difficult times.

The digital signature campaign of the RSS affiliate also appeals to the WTO for granting a waiver in the provisions of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

The SJM's signature campaign appeals to the global pharmaceutical companies for “voluntarily” giving patent-free rights including technology transfer, passcodes and raw material to other manufacturers “for the sake of humanity.”

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)