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Covid vaccine could cost up to Rs 1000 in private market

By Sohini Das
April 28, 2021 11:38 IST
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While the Indian government has been procuring Covid-19 vaccines at low prices so far, manufacturers have to declare the prices of vaccines they would supply to the open market (industries, private hospitals, etc) and state governments before May 1.

Sohini Das reports.

IMAGE: Kindly note that this image has been posted for representational purposes only. Photograph: Anuwar Hazarika / ANI Photo.

A Covid-19 shot is likely to be available at Rs 900-1,000 ($13-14) in the private market in India, sources in the know said. This would be the maximum retail price, including trade margins, and vaccine makers would stand to make around Rs 650 per dose.

 

For institutional sales, these shots could be priced at Rs 600-650 per dose.

“The prices of foreign vaccines may be higher than this as they need sophisticated cold chain infrastructure. Also, the government will monitor the prices we set for the private market. So, nothing is concrete as of now,” said an industry source.

Manufacturers have to declare the prices of vaccines they would supply to the open market (industries, private hospitals, etc) and state governments before May 1.

The Indian government has been procuring Covid-19 vaccines at low prices so far.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine sells at the lowest price in India, at $2.06 per shot. In comparison, it sells at $3-6 per dose globally.

Serum Institute of India, the manufacturing partner of British AstraZeneca, had indicated that in the private market, the price could be Rs 1,000 per shot. The firm did not comment on its pricing plans now.

Covaxin, the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, is fetching anything between $15 and $20 per dose in the international market, while it sells in India at $2 per dose.

Bharat Biotech said Covaxin had received emergency use authorisations (EUAs) in several countries and another 60 were in process. So far, countries like Mexico, Philippines, Iran, Paraguay, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Guyana, Venezuela, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, among several others, have granted EUAs to Covaxin.

“EUAs are in process in the USA and several European countries. Pricing for international markets has been established at $15-20 per dose,” the firm said on Tuesday.

Russian vaccine Sputnik V, too, sells for $10-19.9 per dose now globally. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the partner of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), has said that the pricing will be different for government procurement and for the private open market.

Motilal Oswal said the latest government announcement to allow vaccinations to all above 18 years could create an additional demand for 1.2 billion doses. The brokerage said demand remained far higher than supply.

About 125 million people have been vaccinated in India with at least one dose. Around 43-44 per cent (600 mn) of India’s population falls in the 18-45 year age group. This implies there would be an additional need for 1.2 bn doses. Together Bharat Biotech, SII and Dr Reddy’s Lab will provide 90 million doses per month initially, far lower than demand, Motilal Oswal said.

The brokerage added that faster approvals for newer potential vaccines, import of ready to use vaccines, and better pricing would help to enhance capacity to meet demand.

Private market pricing is thus not likely to be less than $10-13 per dose, felt industry insiders.

Motilal analysts felt that assuming $2 per dose, Dr Reddy’s had a potential revenue of $300 mn from Sputnik V (it has a license to market the first 250 mn doses).

After the opening up of the private market, analysts expect at least Rs 100 per dose additional revenue for DRL for 50 per cent of the vaccines. This will result in an additional revenue of Rs 1,250 crore for DRL, said Motilal Oswal.

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Sohini Das in Mumbai
Source: source
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