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July 15, 2020

Request made to Central Government for issuance of compulsory license for ‘Remdesivir’

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] has reportedly requested the Central Government of India to issue compulsory license under Section 92 of the Patents Act, 1970 for manufacture of generic versions of the drug ‘remdesivir’. Remdesivir, originally an anti-viral drug sold under the brand name Veklury by Gilead Sciences, has recently been found useful in treating COVID 19 patients.

Interestingly, Gilead Sciences has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with various pharmaceutical companies to manufacture remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries. The voluntary licenses are royalty-free until the WHO declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19, or until a pharmaceutical product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is earlier. The press release by Gilead Sciences can be accessed at – https://www.gilead.com/purpose/advancing-global-health/covid-19/voluntary-licensing-agreements-for-remdesivir.

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