BY NIKHILA NATARAJAN
New York– The US on Wednesday hailed its partnership with India on protective equipment and medical supplies during the “desperate” early days of the Covid-19 pandemic as the “clearest example” of positive global collaboration rising from one of its “most important partnerships in the world”.
The current US outlook frames India as a crucial partner for bouncing back from the pandemic’s deadly blow.
“India has been an important partner for the United States since the early days of the pandemic when countries were desperate for factual information about the virus and searching for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies,” a senior US State Department Official said during a background briefing on the ‘US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’.
“Looking forward to the next six months and beyond. We know that our continued close cooperation with India will be an important part of the global recovery from the pandemic,” the US official said.
The US-India “collaborative approach on therapeutics” is being underlined as an “excellent example” of positive global impact.
“American company, Gilead has granted voluntary non-exclusive licensing agreements to Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce a generic form of remdesivir,” according to the State Department official.
According to Gilead, these licensing agreements grant to Alkem Laboratories Ltd., Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., FDC Ltd., J.B. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Matrix Laboratories Ltd., Medchem International, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd. the rights to produce and distribute generic versions of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (tenofovir DF) to 95 low-income countries around the world, including India.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the UN General Assembly last week, pledged to help the world produce and deliver potential coronavirus vaccines.
India is the world’s largest vaccine producer. Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume, is mass-producing a vaccine for low and middle-income countries. The company is deep into late-stage studies of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Against a tumultuous backdrop of an ongoing pandemic and global economic ruin, the US is highlighting the “enormous strengths” of the US-India relationship.
“Every time we look at these problems we find another area or solution we’re working together makes us both stronger, and the United States and India both see the danger of missing the opportunity to link our great societies and economies more closely,” the US official told reporters. (IANS)