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Bharat Biotech Raises Concerns Over Vaccine Costs, Says "Not Sustainable" in Long Run

Bharat Biotech says Rs 150 vaccination cost won’t be sustainable...get the details...

Wednesday, 16th June 2021

Maker of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech has said the price at which the vaccine is being supplied to the Central government of Rs 150 per dose is "a non-competitive price and clearly not sustainable in the long run."

The Hyderabad based vaccine manufacturer said in a statement on Tuesday that it is necessary for them to have a "higher price in private markets" so as to counterbalance a portion of the cost.

Explaining their steep rates when compared to other vaccine doses available in the country against the coronavirus, Bharat Biotech said, "Fundamental business reasons ranging from low procurement volumes, high distribution costs and retail margins among few others contribute to higher pricing of Covaxin."

The statement came in the wake of the government's announcement of a revised vaccination policy in the country whereby the Centre will now procure vaccine doses for all the states and make it available free of cost to all above the age of 18 years at government centres.

While the vaccines were being supplied at a price of Rs 150 per dose to the Centre, the company had fixed a higher price of Rs 400 per dose , slashed down from an earlier rate of Rs 600, for individual state governments and Rs 1,200 to the private sector.

Also read: Chinese Scientist Denies Lab-Leak Theory Believed to be the Origin of the Pandemic.

Bharat Biotech said, they had been acting in accordance to the directive of the Centre and supplied less than 10 per cent of their vaccines to the private sector and handed over the rest to Central and State governments. They said, "In such a scenario the weighted average price of Covaxin for all supplies realised by Bharat Biotech is less than ?250 per dose. Going forward, around 75% of the capacity will be supplied to the governments with only 25% going to private hospitals."

Pricing, as per the firm, is based on several factors including cost of goods and raw materials, product failures, product overages, capital expenditure and set up costs of manufacturing units, sales and distribution expenses, procurement volumes apart from other day-to-day business expenditures.

The company has till date invested more than Rs 500 crore out of their own resources on product development, clinical trials and setting up of manufacturing facilities for Covaxin, they mentioned in the statement.

The News Talkie Bureau




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