Two doses cost Rs8,500
The price of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan is much higher than its price in the international market, says justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, the vice-chairperson of Transparency International Pakistan.
The price of two doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has been fixed at Rs8,500 by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan.
The cabinet approved the prices of Russian and Chinese vaccines on Sunday. According to a circular, four doses of Sputnik V will cost Rs16,560. The 10-dose pack of the Russian vaccine will be available at Rs40,555, while the 20-dose pack will cost Rs81,110.
Internationally, the Sputnik V vaccine is priced at $10 per dose or $20 for two doses, said Iqbal on SAMAA’s programme 7se8 Wednesday.
She also pointed out that the cost of a single dose of the vaccine in India is less than INR 734. If we convert that then one dose should’ve cost Rs1,500 in Pakistan.
Iqbal had written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan requesting him to review the policy of allowing the private sector to import COVID-19 vaccines.
She had said that Pakistan would be one of the few countries to allow the private sector to import and sell COVID-19 vaccines, paving the way for corruption.
There is a possibility that the vaccine, being given free of cost by the government, could be sold to private hospitals, she said.
The CEO of Indus Hospital, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, who is also on the prime minister’s COVID-9 taskforce, added that DRAP fixes the prices of vaccines according to their pricing policy, but if the private sector has bought expensive vaccines, they should return them.
The Sputnik V vaccine reached Karachi on March 18. The consignment arrived at Jinnah International Airport. Local drug firm AG Pharma Ltd received it. “This is the first shipment of 50,000 doses which came last night only,” said an official of AGP.