Bharat Biotech has announced that it is reducing the price of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin for the state governments. While initially the price was set at ₹600 per dose, now the company has announced that it will be charging ₹400 per dose from the states. However, the price for private hospitals remained unchanged at ₹1200.
In a statement issued today evening, Bharat Biotech said, “Recognizing the enormous challenges to the public health care system, we have made COVAXIN available to State Governments at a price of Rs. 400/dose.”
“We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind in ourcountry) and clinical trials,” the company further added. “We wish to champion “Innovation in India” and our commitment to public health is absolute!” the statement by the company said.
The reduction in the price of Covaxin came a day after the price of Covishield vaccine was reduced by Serum Institute of India yesterday.
Earlier on 24th April, Bharat Biotech had announced that Covaxin price for the state governments will be ₹600, and the price for private hospitals will be ₹1200.
The company announced the prices as per the order issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 19th April opening up the vaccination for anyone above 18 years of age. The govt had said that while the central govt will continue to vaccinate people above 45 years of age free of charge, state governments and private hospitals will be allowed the buy vaccines to vaccinate the adult population of the country. The ministry had asked the vaccine manufacturers to transparently declare the price they will charge from state govts and the open market before 1st May, from when the third phase will begin.
However, after the prices were announced by both the companies, they were attacked by opposition parties, alleging them of selling the vaccine at higher prices to the states compared to the central govt. This is despite the fact that the companies had already announced that they are selling the vaccines to the central govt at a discounted rate of ₹150 per dose only for the initial round, and for any subsequent orders they will be charging the same price from the centre as from the states.