Local TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called for Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector be fully utilised to produce COVID-19 testing kits and materials
His comments come as a million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and a global shortage of material used in the testing process is resulting in significant delays and limitations on testing here.
Speaking in recent days, Deputy Seán Crowe said; “The message from the World Health Organisation is to test, test, and test again for COVID-19, but this can’t happen if the testing kits and the material used in the testing process is resulting in significant delays and limitations on tests being carried out here. Currently, there is a delay of up to 10 days with the system not being able to manage to process the 1,500 per day.
“Health Minister Simon Harris promised a number of weeks ago 15,000 tests per day but this doesn’t look like happening any time soon.
“This is all happening as we come to the frightening figure of a million people around the world having been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and with a global shortage of the material uses. ʺAs the COVID-19 crisis grows day on day, the international demand on this material is only going to increase, putting significant pressure on the testing regime here.
ʺThe government need to urgently engage with pharmaceutical companies that are located in Ireland, with a view to developing test kits for use here domestically, as the international market clearly cannot meet the demand required. All options, including the compulsory licensing of intellectual property, should be considered in an effort to maximise production ʺIreland has a world-renowned and long-established pharmaceutical sector, with the top 10 pharmaceutical companies operating here, and this needs to be utilised fully.
ʺWe have thousands of highly skilled workers in this sector, and there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to manufacture COVID-19 testing kits and materials here ʺWe cannot sit by and hope the international market deliver the materials needed at some stage in the future. We need domestic production of COVID-19 tests and materials now.”