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The Supreme Court casts serious doubts on the price policy of vaccines | India News


NEW DELHI: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court cast serious doubt on the Center’s policy allowing manufacturers to sell Covid-19 vaccines at higher prices to states and private hospitals ostensibly to stimulate competition among vaccine producers, saying that the Union government would do well to use its monopolistic policy. buyer’s position to purchase vaccines for the entire population.
A bench of judges DY Chandrachud, LN Rao and SR Bhat said that since the Center has previously negotiated the price and quantity with the vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, “it casts serious doubts on the justification for the Center to allow higher prices. high as a competitive measure. ”
“In addition, the fact that the central government justifies its lower prices due to its ability to place large purchase orders for vaccines raises the problem of why this reasoning is not being used to purchase 100% of the monthly doses from the Laboratory. Central de Medicamentos (CDL) ”. said the bank. On the differential price of vaccines, Attorney General Tushar Mehta had said: “The Center, by the nature of its large vaccination program, places large purchase orders for vaccines in opposition to state governments and / or private hospitals and, therefore, this reality has some reflections in the negotiated prices ”. He had also told the court: “The liberalized vaccination policy was introduced to incentivize existing manufacturers and invite more manufacturers, which will ensure the fastest vaccination of the majority of the population. Differential pricing was introduced to instill a competitive market that will drive the market towards affordability and attract vaccine manufacturers abroad. “The bank also said:” However, it is reiterated that the Center should consider using its position as a monopoly buyer in the market and transmit the benefit to all people. ”
Concerned about the additional financial burden on states due to higher priced vaccines, the bank said: “Even if states / UT financed the higher priced vaccines, a burden that they were not unloading before the vaccination policy was introduced liberalized and may not have planned ahead, these funds are spent at the request of the public purse. ”

Times of India