Free trials can be detrimental to Covid-19 fight, ICMR tells SC

NEW DELHI: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) urged on Monday to withdraw their free trial order as it aims to expand testing in association with private laboratories, from 10,000 to 15,000 per day to 1 lakh per day. He insisted that the free provisional order approved on April 8 may work to the detriment of the cause for which the country is fighting.

The ICMR said that the decision to involve private laboratories in the testing process was made after extensive deliberation with the national task force on all aspects. The central government, after exhaustive and extensive discussions and deliberations with experts on the subject from various fields, made an administrative decision to involve private laboratories while imposing a price limit on them to ensure that they do not charge more and cannot exploit citizens, he said. in his affidavit, insisting that it is prudent to leave such decision-making to the executive.

Therefore, it is affirmed that the final relief is incapable of being granted and only for this reason the interim order does not deserve to be continued, added the ICMR, requesting the rejection of the request in search of free tests for all citizens.

The lead agency for the formulation and promotion of biomedical research insisted, while upholding the fact that resources were not unlimited as a dominating factor, the government also considered the difficulties that the poor section of the country may face in the testing process. ICMR informed the superior court that, unlike other routine tests carried out in laboratories at the will and desire of citizens, these tests would be performed only after a qualified doctor certifies the need for such a test, and this protocol it applies to both governments and private parties. laboratories

The ICMR informed the court that some of the components that are essential parts of the kits, such as primer probes, master mix, are products protected by patent and, therefore, cannot be manufactured in the country without importing these components. He argued that resources cannot be unlimited and the government is obligated to prioritize resources in the public interest.

In view of this position, our country will have to depend on the import of all these components. This is the problem faced by most countries in the world and these proprietary components are manufactured by few countries outside of India. ICMR said.

The medical staff said 1,500 rupees are for detection and 3,000 rupees for confirmatory testing, if necessary. This figure is also obtained based on the price of specialized kits required to carry out the tests and maintain the basic price of components such as swabs, tongue depressor disposers, viral RNA extraction kits, primer probes, enzyme + PCR, buffer + NF water, PCR tube, PPE, etc. ICMR said. The test is free in 139 government laboratories and 67 private laboratories. Until April 9, 1.27 lakh tests were conducted.

On April 8, the apex court ordered that all coronavirus patients undergo free tests. A bank of judges Ashok Bhushan and S. Ravindra Bhat said: Tests related to Covid-19, either in approved government laboratories or in approved private laboratories, will be free.

The court order led to a petition filed by defender Shashank Deo Sudhi challenging the adviser to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to set a maximum of Rs 4,500 for the crown test by private entities. The petitioner maintained that the ICMR notice allegedly violated articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.