1. Vaccines: SC seeks govt’s records on action taken on panel suggestions

Vaccines: SC seeks govt’s records on action taken on panel suggestions

In a PIL related to the quashing of licenses of two vaccines used for cervical cancer treatment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre...

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 19, 2015 12:33 AM

In a PIL related to the quashing of licenses of two vaccines used for cervical cancer treatment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to produce records showing what action it has taken on the recommendations of the 81st Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, which had criticised the manner in which the vaccines were introduced and administered on minor girls by multinationals in India.

The two drugs in question are Gardasil and Cervarix, manufactured by Merck Sharpe and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also asked the parties in the case to clarify whether the court has powers to look into the recommendations given by the committee and further if it can give any opinion on the report as it may amount to stepping into the executive’s domain.

It posted the matter for further hearing on January 20.

Apart from a December 2014 report of the committee, the panel had also in April 2010 recommended legal action against US-based Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and accused the NGO of violating ethical standards while promoting the cervical cancer vaccination programme in the country.

Justice Misra also asked the Centre to give details about the protocol and procedure being followed while obtaining consent before administration of these vaccines and who shall be responsible to pay compensation in case of death of any girl or for any adverse after effects.

The bench had last year taken cognizance of the alleged death of seven girls during clinical trials of a cervical cancer vaccine and asked the drug control authority and the Indian Council for Medical Research to tell how permission for human trial of the drug was given.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Kalpana Mehta and Sama-Resource Group for Women and Health, seeking to quash licensing for sale and marketing of two vaccines for cervical cancer treatment on the ground that approval
for their use was done without adequate research on safety.

Litigation
* In a PIL related to the quashing of licenses of two vaccines used for cervical cancer treatment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to produce records showing what action it has taken on the recommendations of the 81st Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, which had criticised the manner in which the vaccines were introduced and administered on minor girls by multinationals in India
* The two drugs in question are Gardasil and Cervarix, manufactured by Merck Sharpe and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively
* The court also asked the parties in the case to clarify whether the court has powers to look into the recommendations given by the committee and further if it can give any opinion on the report as it may amount to stepping into the executive’s domain
* It posted the matter for further hearing on January 20

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