Mumbai: The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) is working towards building a healthier India through access to innovation and believe the need for innovation must be balanced with the necessity for more accessible medicines, within a robust IP and regulatory environment, stated K G Ananthakrishnan, director-general, OPPI.
“We are committed to supporting the nation’s healthcare objectives by collaborating with relevant stakeholders to find sustainable solutions. A holistic approach is essential to expand healthcare in India. OPPI and its member companies are committed to addressing India’s healthcare needs through facilitating greater access to quality healthcare solutions and encouraging research and innovation,” said Ananthakrishnan.
Commenting on the patent IP waiver for Covid 19 vaccine, Ananthakrishnan said, “OPPI member companies are fully committed to developing newer and improved treatment options to help respond to Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that innovative therapies are available equitably and expeditiously. Our member companies have been continuously reviewing their drug and vaccine portfolios, while their scientists keep searching for potentially useful assets that could help develop new and repurposed treatments and vaccines to fight the novel coronavirus. As a result, many vaccines as well treatment options are now available that further demonstrates our commitment.”
“We are cognizant that with the rising Covid-19 cases in India and in other developing nations, there is an urgency to rapidly produce greater quantities of Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccine manufacturing is a complex process and scaling up capacities involves the transfer of critical knowhow. We believe this can only be optimally achieved when vaccine manufacturers are able to scale up capacities at their production sites and/or through licensing agreements with other manufacturers, along with supply agreements with governments to make required quantities deployed rapidly and reliably,” Ananthakrishnan said.
He further added that the waiving of intellectual property rights will neither lead to increased production of vaccines or increased deployment nor practical solutions to fight the virus of Covid-19 vaccines since IP is not the barrier to adequate availability of vaccines in India.
Waiving of intellectual property rights could impact patient safety by opening doors for counterfeit vaccines to enter the supply chain. There is also a risk of diverting precious raw materials and ingredients necessary to produce the vaccines from high quality manufacturers to inexperienced ones, further disrupting the existing manufacturing capacity, stated OPPI.
Established in 1965, OPPI represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies in India. OPPI believes the need for innovation must be balanced with the necessity for more accessible medicines, within a robust IP environment. OPPI remains committed to supporting the nation’s healthcare objectives and collaborating with all stakeholders to find sustainable solutions.