The SII cuts the price of the vaccine for the states to 300 rupees / dose, calls it a ‘philanthropic gesture’ | India News
Faced with a public outcry over the prices of Covishield, Serum Institute of India on Wednesday it announced a reduction of 25% or 100 rupees in its price for state governments, describing it as a “philanthropic gesture.” The bad news is that at Rs 300 per shot, it will still be double what Center is paying, for private hospitals, the price has remained unchanged at 600 rupees per injection.
The vaccine is also unlikely to be readily available on the private market until September-October. A Serum Institute official had previously told TOI: “Due to the complexity and urgency of the situation, it is a challenge to supply it independently to each corporate entity.”
However, criticism from state governments and civil society appears to have forced the Serum Institute to cut prices. A news agency report had also said that the Center had raised the issue with the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech since both companies had raised prices.
“As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, I hereby reduce the price to states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose, effective immediately; This will save billions of millions of state funds in the future. This will enable more vaccines and save countless lives, ”the company’s chief executive, Adar Poonawalla, said on Wednesday, four days after defending his company’s pricing policy.
However, he did not comment on his company’s efforts to link the acquisition price of the Center to that of the states. The acquisition price of the Center was around Rs 150 per jab for initial orders placed in January and March.
The price of Covishield in India is higher than in other countries such as South Africa and Sri Lanka (around 390 rupees per dose each), European Union $ 2.15 (around Rs 160) and UN initiative, Covax $ 3 (around Rs 225).
With the infection increasing at a rapid rate, there is an increased demand for vaccines and the government is being asked to step up the momentum. But manufacturers cannot increase production.