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Bharat Biotech: Specialized skilled innovators should be allowed to maintain differential pricing strategy for hospitals

Bharat Biotech today said innovators with specialized expertise in product development, and large-scale manufacturing, should be allowed to maintain a differential pricing strategy for governments and private hospitals. The statement came in the light of reports of differential pricing of COVID-19 vaccines in private hospitals and for government supplies.

Bharath Biotech has said it is difficult to maintain the pricing of Covaxin vaccine, the same as it is now for a long time. Stating that the company is providing Covaxin  at a non-competitive rate to the Central Government and it is not sustainable in the long run. It justified the higher price for the private market.

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The Hyderabad-based company said vaccine pricing depends on numerous factors and said the whole-virion Inactivated Vero Cell vaccines as in case of Covaxin, are highly complex to manufacture since the critical ingredient is based on live viruses which require highly sophisticated, multiple level containment and purification methods.

The company further said the higher price for the private sector is primarily due to fundamental business reasons, ranging from low procurement volumes, high distribution costs and retail margins among few others as explained above. The statement further said less than 10 percent of its total production of Covaxin has been supplied to private hospitals, while most of the remaining quantity was supplied to State and Central governments.

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