The current price at which Covaxin is being supplied to the Centre is not “sustainable”, Bharat Biotech said on June 15. Covaxin is supplied to the government at Rs 150 per dose, while the price tag for the private market is Rs 1,400 per dose.
The company has kept 50% of its capacity reserved for Centre’s free vaccine rollout.
“Fundamental business reasons ranging from low procurement volumes, high distribution costs and retail margins among few others contribute to higher pricing of Covaxin,” Bharat Biotech said justifying the higher price when compared to other COVID-19 vaccines available for the private sector in India.
It said the supply price of Covaxin to the government at Rs 150/dose, is a “non-competitive price” and clearly “not sustainable” in the long run. This means a higher price in private markets is required to offset part of the costs, it said.
“There are live examples of such pricing policies where Human Papillomavirus vaccine is priced for GAVI supplies at $4.5/dose (Rs 320), but is also available in the private market at Rs 3,500/dose. Rotavirus vaccines are supplied to the Govt of India at Rs 60/ dose, but are also available in the private market at Rs 1700 / dose,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
Bharat Biotech also mentioned that the company has so far invested over ₹ 500 crores at risk from its own resources for product development, clinical trials and setting up of manufacturing facilities for Covaxin.