Nova Vacina Russa contra Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 sobre a mesa do laboratório

Bharat Biotech says Rs 150 per dose for Covaxin a ‘non-competitive price’, ‘not sustainable’

Covaxin prices are high due to fundamental business reasons — low procurement volumes, high distribution costs and retail margins, among few others.

In such a scenario, the weighted average price of Covaxin for all supplies realised by Bharat Biotech is less than Rs 250/dose.

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Price per dose for Covaxin

It said the supply price of Covaxin to the government at Rs 150/dose, is a “non-competitive price” and clearly “not suitable” in the long run. “There are live examples of such pricing policies where Human Papillomavirus vaccine is priced for GAVI supplies at $4.5/dose (Rs 320), but is also available in the private market at Rs 3,500/dose.

It said vaccine pricing depends on many factors. “The pricing of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products heavily depends on a series of factors; the cost of goods & raw materials, product failures, at-risk product development outlays, product overages, the entire capital expenditure for setting up sufficient manufacturing facilities, sales and distribution expenses, procurement volumes and commitments besides other regular business expenditures,” the pharma company stated.

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It said the whole-virion inactivated vero cell vaccines (Covaxin derives from this technology platform) are “highly complex” to manufacture since the critical ingredient is based on live viruses, which require highly experienced, multiple level containment and purification methods.

“Such high standards of purification automatically lead to significant process losses and low yields save the outcome of a highly purified and safe vaccine,” it said.

It requires about 10,000 sq meters of the area to produce around 200 million doses of Covaxin annually, the company said.

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