CPI-M opposes closure of vaccine units

May 30th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Opposing the suspension of licenses of three state-owned vaccine units in the country, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday said their closure would be a “blow” to the country’s immunization programme and would pave a way for entry of big private pharmaceutical companies in the field. “The CPI-M strongly opposes the suspension of licenses of the three main vaccine producing units in the public sector - BCG unit in Chennai, Pasteur Institute in Coonoor (Karnataka) and Central Research Institute in Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh),” said a statement released by the party after a two-day meeting of its central committee here.

The health ministry, earlier this year, did not renew the licences of the three units as they failed to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria of good laboratory practices to be followed by a laboratory preparing vaccines.

“Between them, these public sector undertakings produce and supply the bulk of the vaccines for the important universal immunization programme,” the CPI-M statement said.

“Their closure is a blow to self-reliance and paves the way for big private pharma companies. The health ministry must restore their licences with immediate effect and upgrade their facilities.”

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