Serum Institute cuts Covishield price by ₹100 for State govts

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 29, 2021

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India Ltd   -  Bloomberg

The vaccine will cost Rs 300 for States

Amid protests from politicians and public health voices on the differential pricing of Covid-19 vaccines, Serum Institute of India has reduced the selling price on its Covishield by ₹100 for State governments.

“As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives,” Serum Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla tweeted.

Political storm

Last week, Serum found itself in the eye of a political storm after it declared its selling price, at ₹400 for States and ₹600 for private hospitals. Many prominent political voices said this would price out States that did not have the funds to buy at these levels. Specially, when Serum had given its last consignment to the Centre at ₹ 150 per dose.

However, Poonawalla had clarified that the next consignment of vaccines to the Centre would be at the same price as for the States.

Meanwhile, over 20 States have got in touch with Serum to source the vaccine, an industry source said.

The pitched price discussions followed the Centre’s directive allowing vaccine makers to sell 50 per cent of their capacity to States and private hospitals from May 1, when inoculation is opened for everyone over 18 years.

The companies were required to pre-declare their prices, and when Serum did that, it whipped up a political storm.

It is now expected that Bharat Biotech will also lower its declared price of ₹600 for States and ₹1,200 to private hospitals.

Russia’s Sputnik vaccine is expected to be imported and sold in India at about $10.

The Supreme Court has sought clarity on the vaccines pricing policy.

Published on April 28, 2021

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