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Govt files affidavit before SC on COVID-19 pandemic management

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Ahead of a crucial hearing in the Supreme Court in the suo motu cognisance case involving distribution of essential supplies and services during COVID-19, the government has filed an affidavit on the pandemic management.

The government has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court (SC) on COVID-19 pandemic management.
The affidavit said that any discussion, mention of exercise of statutory powers either for essential drugs or vaccines would have serious, severe and unintended on Centre's efforts in other countries.
In the current scenario, it said that the main constraint is in the availability of raw materials and any additional licenses may not result in increased production.
On vaccine pricing, the affidavit said that both manufacturers have taken a financial risk in developing vaccines and it is prudent to take decisions on pricing through negotiation and consultation.
"Statutory provision for determining pricing should be the last resort," it mentioned.
"Centre places large orders for vaccines as opposed to states or private hospitals. This reality has some reflection in the process negotiated. Due to consultations and persuasions by the Centre, both manufacturers have declared their respective prices which are uniform for all states. Pricing of vaccines won't be an issue as all state governments have announced free vaccination," it said.
"While it has been ensured that manufacturers are not unduly enriched from public money, it is also ensured that citizens are not supposed to make any payment," the affidavit said.
"Incentivisation of private manufacturers will further lead to more pharma companies entering the market and scaling up production. Differential pricing is based on the concept of creating an incentivized demand for the private manufacturers, which will ensure market-driven affordable prices," it added.
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