NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday asked the Centre and various pharma majors to respond to a PIL seeking that all drug firms making Remdesivir, used in Covid-19 treatment, be allowed to sell it in the domestic market.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Health Ministry, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Director General of Foreign Trade and various pharma companies, like Cipla, Zydus and Cadila, seeking their stand on the plea which claims only a handful of such firms are allowed to sell the medicine in the domestic market.
The remaining companies were involved in manufacturing the drug for export, petitioner Dincur Bajaj said, adding that since export of Remdesivir has been banned by the Centre, the companies which were producing it for export be permitted to manufacture and sell it in the domestic market.
Bajaj, who is a lawyer and the Joint Secretary of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, has claimed that there are more than 25 companies in India which manufacture the medicine, but only six to eight of them are permitted to sell it in the domestic market and the rest were producing it for exports alone.
The plea, filed through advocate Amit Saxena and Imran Ali, has said, “It is pertinent to mention that the scarcity of Remdesivir is causing its extensive black-marketing and the black marketers are charging prices up to Rs 1,00,000 per vial, due to its non-availability.”
During the hearing, the central government said that the Supreme Court in its order dated April 30 has dealt with the issue of sale of essential medicines and has issued directions to the Centre in this regard.
Saxena, opposed the contention, saying the apex court’s order primarily deals with sale of vaccines.
The petition has also said that huge stocks of the medicine are lying at the ports for being exported and the same can be sold in the domestic market.