The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of a petition seeking the sale of the drug Remdesivir in the domestic market by pharmaceutical companies who were producing the drug solely for exports. Remdesivir is used in treating Covid-19 patients.
The development came after Advocate Amit Saxena, representing the petitioner, sought permission from the Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh to withdraw the petition upon instructions from the client. Accordingly, the petition was disposed of as withdrawn.
The Bench of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, on an earlier occasion, had sought the stand of the Centre and various pharmaceutical companies who were producing the drug in India.
At the outset, a public interest litigation was filed by one Dincur Bajaj, a practising lawyer, through Advocates Amit Saxena and Imran Ali.
Relying on certain news articles and publications, the plea alleged that only a handful of the Indian pharmaceutical companies were given the license to sell the drug in the domestic market; whereas other Indian manufacturers were allowed to produce the drug for export only.
However, on account of a steep surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, the Indian Government, on April 11, 2021, banned the export of the lifesaving drug, due to which huge stocks of the drug were found to be lying at various ports and container depots.
In light of the above, the plea prayed for an immediate decision on the domestic sale of Remdesivir, which is lying at various ports or container depots; along with a direction to the concerned authorities to allow the same. The plea further prayed for a grant of license to manufacturers engaged in export of the drug, for the purpose of domestic sale of the drug.
The plea states thus: “if such local/domestic sale of lifesaving drug Remdesivir is allowed which is manufactured and produced by companies in India, it will save life of general public at large who are suffering from the pandemic.”
Further, if the domestic sale of the drug is permitted, “the black marketing of the drug will be stopped and it will be available to every person at affordable rate,” the plea adds.