As the second wave of COVID-19 has struck with a devastating impact throughout the country, with cases rising continuously, there is an urgent need to ramp up the production of Covaxin and Covishield through voluntary licensing, said Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press statement.
Voluntary Licensing refers to the authorisation given by the patent holder to a third party to manufacture and sell the patented product on the basis of mutually agreed terms.
The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic is spreading faster than the first wave and affecting almost every household in India. At this critical juncture there is a need to urgently provide licensing of production of Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik, said Aggarwal.
He stated that compulsory licensing is another way of granting a license by the Government to a third party to use the patent, however, this may not be very useful in the case of manufacturing of technologically advanced COVID-19 vaccinations.
At this juncture, the Government should facilitate and encourage Bharat Biotech, Oxford-Astra Zeneca and RDIF to grant Voluntary Licenses alongwith transfer of technology, even if for a limited period of one year, for the production of Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik to more and more pharma companies in India on mutually accepted terms so as to maximise the production and supply of vaccines in the country, he added.
The Government should try to incentivise directly the foreign companies which own the patents for the other COVID-19 vaccines also to grant licences and transfer technology to domestic pharma companies in India, opined Aggarwal.
He highlighted that there is also a need to provide assurance for procurement of full production from both the existing manufacturers and the proposed new licensees of the vaccine doses produced by them so to encourage them to expand the facilities and ramp up the manufacturing.
To control the extent of second wave of COVID-19, adequate availability and rapid administration of COVID-19 vaccination is very crucial. This will help the country to tide over this emergency and save a huge number of lives, said Aggarwal.