On March 23, the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine exporter AGP Limited threatened Pakistan to re-export the 50,000 doses if the government does not set the desired price of the company. According to the reports, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) recommended the price for two doses of the vaccine at PKR 8,449. The importer was not happy with the price. The importer also said that selling the shipment to another country was also on the table as an option if a reasonable price is not fixed.
Geo TV quoted an anonymous source saying, “The government is already under harsh criticism for the price recommended by DRAP’s pricing committee at Pakistani Rs 8,449. It was calculated on the basis of a landing cost of USD 30, but people are comparing it with the cost of the Russian vaccine in India and criticising the government for fixing a higher price as compared to the neighbouring country.”
AGP Limited’s official told Geo TV that the Pakistani government’s price was not affordable as there was an additional landing cost, distributor margin, storage, and transportation cost. Also, the hospitals and institutions will also take service charge which will add up to the price.
Earlier, the Pakistani government had asked the DRAP pricing committee to reconsider and reassess the Maximum Retain Price of the vaccine after AGP Limited showed dissatisfaction over the price recommended. The government officials said that AGP wanted a retail price between PKR 12,000 to PKR 13,000 that would include the landing cost, freight charges, cold storage and other expenses.
Covid-19 in Pakistan
So far, Pakistan has reported 637,042 cases of Coronavirus. A total of 13,965 people have died of complications associated with the infection. Pakistan has recently imposed a complete ban on travel from 12 countries, including Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa. Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were tested positive on March 20.