Libertatem Magazine

Petitioner Moved to Delhi High Court seeking for Urgent Supply of COVID Injections

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The present petition was filed by the brother of Mr Sudhir Kumar Agarwal, who was a COVID-19 patient (herein patient) and was admitted to Malik Radix Health Care Hospital, Nirman Vihar, New Delhi. On 30.04.2021 the patient was detected as positive for COVID-19. He was diagnosed with multiple patchy areas in his lungs and with COVID-19 pneumonitis. On 03.052021, the medical condition of the patient deteriorated, and he was admitted to the hospital. He was stated to be on high-flow oxygen. On 04.052021, the doctors prescribed the drug- Tocilizumab 400 mg for being administered to the patient.

Despite repeated efforts, the said injection had not been made available to the patient. He submitted that the condition of the patient was continuously deteriorating, and the said drug was urgently required.

The concerned doctor at the Malik Radix Health Care Hospital had also reported that the patient required an injection of Tocilizumab 400 mg for recovery.

Petitioner’s Contention

Learned Counsel for the Petitioner had emailed an amended memo of parties, where the petitioner seeks to implement the GNCTD, Drug Controller of Delhi, Union of India, Drugs Controller General of India, and Roche Products (India) Pvt. Ltd. He orally also seeks the impleadment of the Union of India, through the Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Further attention of the court was taken to the Suo Moto titled In Re: Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services during the pandemic dated 30.04.2021filed regarding the issue of shortage of Tocilizumab injection. Under the suo moto, paragraphs 42/46/51 & 54 captured the position relating to various drugs such as Remdesivir, Favipiravir, and Tocilizumab. The scheme of the Patents Act and the provisions relating to compulsory licensing etc. had also been considered in the said order of the Supreme Court.

Respondent’s Contention

Learned Counsel representing Roche India submitted that she was informed of the filing of the present writ petition and the impleadment of Roche Products (India) Pvt. Ltd.

As per Learned Counsel appearing for the GNCTD submitted that 500 vials of injections were distributed within Delhi to various governments as well as private hospitals.

Court’s observation

The Court observed that there was a severe shortage of the drug across the country. There was a severe shortage in the availability of the Tocilizumab, and 500 vials, being made available, would not be sufficient. Therefore, there was an imminent need for the drug in Delhi for critically ill patients who were being prescribed the same. To ensure immediate availability of the drug for critically ill COVID-19 patients, the Court laid several directions to Roche Products (India) Pvt. Ltd.

 Court’s judgment

The court decided that the Union of India and the GNCTD should assure this Court that they would make efforts through their good offices, to make the required doses of Tocilizumab 400 mg available to the brother of the Petitioner.

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