The Pakistan government has announced a price cap for shots of the privately imported Russian Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine,as per local media reported Sunday.
A private pharmaceutical company, AGP Limited, imported the first shipment of 50,000 doses of the Russian vaccine into Pakistan last week.
In February, Pakistan said it would allow private companies to import coronavirus vaccines and agreed to exempt such imports from price caps, but on Thursday the country’s health leader said the decision would be reversed and the Pakistan Drug Enforcement Administration (DRAP) would pay a price that the Cabinet will give a final price approval.
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“The Pakistani government has set the maximum sale price for two doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at Rs 8,444 ($ 54),” as per information, citing a circular from the Ministry of Health published Saturday.
According to the report, the Chinese Convidecia vaccine, produced by CansinoBio, costs up to Rs 4,225 per injection.
The Chinese vaccines against Sinopharm and CansinoBio, Sputnik-V and Britain’s AstraZeneca have been approved for the emergency situation in Pakistan, whose government has not yet received a vaccine from manufacturing companies and so far relies on donations.
The Russian vaccine, which arrived in Karachi on Wednesday evening, is the first private party purchased and imported by a private company.
Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, director general of health in the Department of National Health Services and Regulations, said a DRAP award committee at the request of AGP Limited on Friday recommended the price tag for each dose of the vaccine and sent the recommendation to the federal cabinet. for approval.
“DRAP has provided a summary to determine the price. This requires government approval,” said Safdar
A DRAP announcement , recommends a pricing formula for imported vaccines, such as the cost of landing the vaccine plus a 40% stocking.
The maximum sales price is calculated according to the statement by “extrapolating the sales price to obtain a retail discount of 15%”.
The costs do not exceed “10% of the importer’s freight costs”.
A DRAP spokesperson said there was a “robust mechanism” to ensure that the vaccine was only sold at the stated price.
“Let me tell you that the Sputnik vaccine is not available without a prescription as it is only vaccinated at a fixed price through government-authorized facilities,” says Akhtar Abbas, DRAP spokesperson,
He ruled out any possibility of black marketing of the vaccine: “This will only be possible through the government-approved mechanism and therefore absolutely no chance of a black market (supply).”
The South Asian country of 220 million people launched its COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare professionals in the first week of February after receiving 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated from China confirmed by SAPM Dr. Faisal Sultan.
The next batch of Sinopharm vaccine was received today. These 500,000 doses will ensure smooth continuation of our vaccination drive, currently underway for senior citizens. We're grateful to China for their support. This gesture is a testament to our long-standing friendship pic.twitter.com/fbS3kfmFQc— Faisal Sultan (@fslsltn) March 17, 2021
This month, vaccination for over-60s has started. On Wednesday, the government received another Chinese donation of 500,000 million doses of Sinopharm.
According to official figures, the government has so far vaccinated more than 450,000 people across the country.
Pakistan is also expected to receive its first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX vaccine exchange initiative to poorer countries this month.