Pfizer agrees to allow other companies to make its COVID-19 pill
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-11-2021; The manufacturer of medicines Pfizer Inc. has signed an accord with a UN-bcked group to allow other manufacturers of manufacturing to experience COVID-19, a decision that will render the treatment accessible to the World population.
In a statement, Pfizer announced that it would license the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Drug Patent Fund, allowing generic drug makers to produce the pill for use in 95 countries, representing about 53% of the world’s population. The deal excludes some large countries that have suffered devastating coronavirus outbreaks.
For example, while a Brazilian pharmaceutical company could obtain a license to manufacture the pill for export to other countries, the drug could not be manufactured generically for use in Brazil. Still, health officials have said the fact that the deal was reached even before the Pfizer pill was authorized anywhere could help end the pandemic faster.
“It is very significant that we can provide access to a drug that appears to be effective and that has just been developed, to more than 4 billion people,” said Esteban Burrone, policy manager of the Drug Patent Fund.
He estimated that other drug makers could start producing the pill in a matter of months, but admitted that the deal wouldn’t appeal to everyone. “We are trying to strike a very fine balance between the interests of (the company), the sustainability that generics producers require and, most importantly, the public health needs in low and middle-income countries,” Burrone said.
Under the agreement, Pfizer will not collect royalties on sales in low-income countries and will waive royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement as long as COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. Earlier this month, Pfizer said its pill reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in people with mild to moderate coronavirus infections. Independent experts have recommended stopping the study of the company based on its promising results.
Pfizer has said it will ask the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies to phase out the pill as soon as possible. Since the pandemic broke out last year, researchers around the world have been rushing to develop a COVID-19 pill that can be easily taken at home to ease symptoms, speed recovery, and prevent people from dying.
Currently, most COVID-19 treatments must be administered intravenously or by injection. Britain authorized Merck’s COVID-19 pill earlier this month and is awaiting approval elsewhere. In a similar agreement with the Drug Patent Fund announced in October, Merck agreed to allow other drug makers to make its COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, available in 105 poorer countries.
Doctors Without Borders said it was “discouraged” that the Pfizer deal does not make the drug available worldwide, noting that the deal announced Tuesday also excludes countries such as China, Argentina and Thailand.
“The world now knows that access to COVID-19 medical tools must be guaranteed for everyone, everywhere, if we really want to control this pandemic,” said Yuanqiong Hu, Senior Legal Policy Adviser at Doctors Without Borders.
The decisions by Pfizer and Merck to share their COVID-19 drug patents are in stark contrast to the refusal by Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers to publish their vaccine prescriptions for wider production. A hub set up by the World Health Organization in South Africa to share messenger RNA vaccine recipes and technologies has not led to a single pharmaceutical product coming together. Less than 1% of Pfizer’s COVID-19 injections went to poorer countries.
Kartarpur corridor to reopen on Wednesday: Amit Shah
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-11-2021; The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara corridor will reopen on Wednesday, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday. The announcement comes ahead of the anniversary of the birth of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, on Friday. The corridor, opened in 2019, connects two major shrines: Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, and allows pilgrims to travel without a visa.
A statement from the Home Ministry said the decision was made “taking into account the improvement in the COVID-19 situation.” Operations in the corridor have been suspended since March 16, 2020 due to the pandemic. Shah had held review meetings with officials to expedite the resumption of operation of the corridor in a timely manner. The pilgrimage would be facilitated based on existing procedures and compliance with COVID-19 protocols, the ministry added. India had signed an agreement with Pakistan on October 24, 2019 on the modalities for commissioning the corridor at Zero Point, International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak.
Punjab BJP leader Harjit Singh observed that a group of 250 pilgrims would come to the Kartarpur gurdwara. As reported by The Hindu, the Pakistani government had issued around 3,000 visas for pilgrims to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan, including Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak. The Kartarpur gurdwara is where he died.
How a coconut must be broken or poop is not something the Constitutional Court examines: CJI Ramana
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-11-2021; On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said constitutional courts cannot interfere with daily rituals and sevas performed in temples on the basis of “public interest” requests.
Religious scholars and priests were better equipped to answer the question of whether rituals in a temple were performed in accordance with customs and traditions. The judicial competence of a constitutional court under Articles 226 and 32 was limited. Whether or not a particular ritual was performed correctly was a “controversial question of fact,” the court said. At the most, it could be the subject of a civil action in a lower court.
“How a coconut is to be broken or how a pooja is to be made in a temple is not something that should be considered by a constitutional court,” Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said.
The Bench, which also includes Judges A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, were listening to a lawsuit filed by Srivari Daadaa alleging that the rituals were not performed according to the traditions of the famous Tirumala Tirupati temple. He also complained about the procedure for darshan.
Justices Bopanna and Kohli agreed that the Supreme Court could not interfere with the daily performance of rituals in a temple based on a request for a court order. The court said it could at most seek clarification from the temple administration in case devotees complain of discrimination or not allowing darshan in light of the current public health crisis.
In resolving the case, the court, in its order, ordered the Tirupati administration to respond to Daadaa’s complaints about darshan procedures and other administrative matters within eight weeks. The court said Daadaa could bring a civil action in a lower court to challenge factual issues related to performing rituals.
Biden, Xi agree on need to avoid conflict amid growing differences
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-11-2021; US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Tuesday on the need to run a competitive relationship “responsibly” but failed to make significant progress on any of the thorny issues that led to increasingly conflicting relationships.
The two leaders met on Tuesday morning (Monday evening in Washington) for more than three hours during their first virtual summit, convened from the Roosevelt Room of the White House and the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi hailed Biden as an “old friend”, while the US president noted that the two, since their tenure as vice presidents, had “spent a lot of time talking” and “had never been so formal with each other.”
The change in tone was evident during a meeting in March in Alaska between senior officials who saw the accusations exchanged on cameras and marked an eventful start to the Biden administration’s engagement with China. But courtesies aside, both sides have essentially strengthened their positions on many of the central issues that have strained the relationship.
Any progress on these issues would have come as a surprise, with pre-summit expectations firmly focused on what a senior US administration official had described as a discussion of “safeguards” rather than specific outcomes.
The main conclusion was the mutual recognition of the need to manage competition amid disputes. Biden called for “common sense safeguards to ensure that competition does not turn into conflict,” the White House said, though his reading did not detail the nature of those measures beyond saying that the two leaders explained how the two sides could continue to engage. in various areas. The US president also stressed “the importance of managing competition responsibly.”
Xi, for his part, said “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation” should be the guiding links of the “three principles,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in the reading. He said that the two countries “must be treated on an equal footing” and that “no conflict or confrontation is a line that both sides must respect.” “Drawing ideological lines or dividing the world into different sides or rival groups,” he said, “will only make the world suffer,” calling on the United States “to keep its word not to seek a ‘new cold war’, with actions concrete “.
The unanswered question was how the two sides were to “handle responsibly” disputes when neither seemed to back down. The Chinese president said on the one hand that “the key is to manage [the differences] constructively so that they do not get bigger or worse” but added that “China will certainly defend its sovereignty, its security and its development interests.” He added that it was “important for the United States to adequately treat relevant issues with caution.”
Chief among these problems is Taiwan. Biden said the United States “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” It also “discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and communicated the continued determination of the United States to honor our commitments in the region,” the White House said, highlighting “the importance of freedom of navigation and safe flight to the prosperity of the region.
Biden, in fact, said that the United States was committed to the status quo on its side in Taiwan, and emphasized the country’s commitment to the “one China” policy, the Taiwan relations law, the three joint press releases. and the six guarantees. As part of its one-China policy, Washington recognizes Beijing only as the official government of China, but under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States will support Taiwan if attacked by Beijing.
Xi, on the other hand, referred to what he called “the true status quo of the Taiwan question,” which was that “there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China.” “We are patient and will strive to achieve the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and the greatest effort,” he said. “Having said that, if the separatist forces for Taiwan independence provoke us, force us or even cross the red line, we will be forced to take decisive action.”
Biden also voiced his “concerns” about China’s actions in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong and human rights issues in general, prompting a response from Xi saying that “democracy does not occur en masse in a uniform pattern” and “rejecting forms of democracy that are different from its own is inherently undemocratic.” China is willing to engage in human rights dialogues on the basis of mutual respect, “he said,” but we oppose the use of human rights to interfere in internal affairs of other countries ”.
Covid updates: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 3,44,56,108 at the time of this bulletin, with a death toll of 463,827.