New Delhi: Indian vaccine manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, defended a higher price for its Covid vaccine ‘Covaxin’, saying the current rate at which the vaccine is being supplied to the central government is not sustainable, hence, a higher price in private markets is required to offset part of the costs.
“The supply price of COVAXIN to Govt of India at ₹150/dose, is a non-competitive price and clearly not sustainable in the long run. Hence a higher price in private markets is required to offset part of the costs,” the company said.
Bharat Biotech has been giving vaccine to the Centre at a concessional rate of ₹150 per dose, while the prices are higher for States and private players. The company has kept 50% of its capacity reserved for Centre’s free vaccine rollout.
In April, Bharat Biotech announced that its vaccine will cost ₹600 per dose to state governments and ₹1200 per dose to private hospitals. This was higher than what Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, another vaccine to be approved in India, had announced just days ago.
However, days alter, it slashed the prices for States to ₹400 per dose.
Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR’s National Institute of Virology.
The company defended current price for private hospitals and said that there are live examples of such pricing policies where Human Papilloma virus vaccine is priced for GAVI supplies at $ 4.5 per dose ( ₹320), but is also available in the private market at ₹3500 per dose.
“Rotavirus vaccines are supplied to the Govt of India at ₹60 per dose, but is also available in the private market at ₹1700 per dose. The prices for COVID-19 vaccines internationally have varied between $10 to $37 per dose, ( ₹730 – ₹2700/ dose),” the company said.