Issue compulsory licences for manufacture of Ramdesivir, CPI(M) tells govt.

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News: CPI(Marxist) has said that the government should issue compulsory licences for the manufacture of a generic version of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Facts:

  • Compulsory licensing(CL): It is a process where a government allows someone else to produce the patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner. 
    • It is one of the flexibility on patent protection included in the WTO’s agreement on intellectual property –TRIPS  Agreement.
  • Section 84 of the (Indian) Patent Act,1970 provides that any time after three years from date of sealing of a patent, application for compulsory license can be made,provided:
    • the reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied
    • the patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price
    • patented invention has not worked in the territory of India.
  • Section 92 of the (Indian) Patent Act,1970 provides that compulsory licenses can also be issued by the Government if there is either a “national emergency” or “extreme urgency” or in cases of “public non-commercial use”.