SC: Centre’s nod for Remdesivir and Favipiravir for Covid-19, asks petitioner to study rules

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the Centre has framed rules on drugs clinical trial and there is also an approval on the use of Remdesivir and Favipiravir as medicines to treat Covid-19.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, citing the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2018, said these medicines have been permitted by the government for the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

The observation came from the top court while hearing a plea a seeking CBI probe against 10 pharma companies selling these medicines allegedly as a treatment for Covid-19 patients without valid licences.

Both Remdesivir and Favipiravir are antiviral drugs and their clinical efficacy in the treatment of the Covid-19 viral infection is a matter of debate.

The bench told the petitioner that it seems he has not noticed New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules and filed this plea before the court. “You may see the rules and come back to the court. We are adjourning this matter”, the bench told advocate M L Sharma, who filed this plea.

The bench has adjourned the matter for two weeks.

The plea contended,” That respondent no.3 to 10 are Indian pharmaceutical company who have signed partnership agreements with foreign companies that are Gilead Science Inc -USA and Fujifilm Japan, to manufacture and sale impugned drug, Remdesivir and Avagin (Favipiravir) in India. Without having a licence, they are manufacturing and selling impugned drugs as a medicine for corona in India.”

Seeking a CBI probe, the petitioner alleged that these two medicines have been wrongly manufactured and sold in the garb of treatment for Covid-19 patients without any valid licences from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.

The petitioner sought prosecution of Indian companies for offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy besides under the provisions of the Drug Act, 1940.

–IANS/

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