World Health Organization (WHO) Current Affairs - 2020

WHO launches COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP)

The Costa Rica and World Health Organization have launched C-TAP. C-TAP is COVID-19 Technology Access Pool.

Highlights

The C-TAP will act as an one-stop shop for information, scientific knowledge and intellectual property for global community. Around 30 countries, institutions and international partners have signed to support C-TAP. It is an initiative that aims to make vaccines, tests, health technologies and treatments.

Background

The initiative was proposed by President of Costa Rica Mr Carlos Alvarado. The initiative will help to hasten the discovery of medicines, vaccines and other technologies that will help cure COVID-19.

Five Key Elements of the Pool

The five main elements of the pool include

  • public disclosure of gene sequences and data
  • governments and other funders that are encouraged to fund agreements with pharmaceutical companies
  • licensing potential vaccine
  • diagnostic treatment and other health technologies
  • promote innovative models.

GoI lifts ban on Paracetamol API exports

On May 28, 2020, the Government of India lifted the ban on export of paracetamol Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

Highlights

The removal of ban will now allow the export of pharmaceutical ingredients used for COVID-19 treatment. In order to achieve this, the GoI has amended Section 3 of Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) act, 1992.

The Impose of Ban

The Government of India had earlier imposed export ban on over 26 pharma ingredients. This included paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine. This was done to avoid shortages inside the country during the outbreak of COVID-19. On April 6, 2020, the export ban on 24 APIs were lifted leaving out Paracetamol.

Supply of APIs to Europe

India is to supply 1000 tonnes of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) to Europe. Europe is the largest buyer of Paracetamol from India. Europe alone imports more than 12,000 tonnes of paracetamol annually.

Paracetamol

Paracetamol is a pain reliever. It was first made in 1877. It is placed in the Essential Medicine List of World Health Organization.

In 2018-19, India exported 5.8 billion USD worth paracetamol. The export of paracetamol in 2019-20 (till January 2020) was 5.41 billion USD.