ISLAMABAD: With over 3,000 cases of coronavirus reported for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday across the country, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has notified a formula for maximum retail prices of Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the notification, signed by Legal Affairs Assistant Director Hafiz Bilal Bin Akbar and available with Dawn, two formulas have been approved for sale of vaccine with 40 per cent mark-up for companies and additional 15pc for retailers/hospitals.
The notification, which will be published in the extraordinary Gazette of Pakistan, Part-II, states that in exercise of powers conferred by Section 12 of the Drugs Act 1976, the federal government is pleased to provide for mechanism for fixing of maximum retail price of vaccines for Covid-19.
The first formula for imported vaccines, in finished form, states that the trade price will be equal to landed cost plus 40pc mark-up. According to the second formula, which is for imported vaccines in bulk form and local repack, the trade price will be equal to landed cost plus packaging cost and 40pc mark-up for companies.
Summary submitted to cabinet for fixing prices of Russian, Chinese medicines
Moreover, retailers/institutions will get 15pc of the price as commission.
“Cost of imported finished vaccine and bulk import shall be as per letter of credit (LC) or bank contract established for import from manufacturer of the respective vaccine. It shall be submitted by the importer along with pro forma invoice issued by the manufacturer and affidavit by the importer to confirm that import price in LC and pro forma invoice is actual and estimated import levies and expenses are not overstated. In case of bulk import and local repacking, cost of packaging shall be estimated and authorised agents shall submit an affidavit about the genuineness of cost and estimated import levies and expenses (advance income tax @ 5.5 per cent, civil aviation charges, LC charges, insurance, etc) shall not exceed 10pc of the cost of freight (C&F) price by the importer,” the notification states.
“The vaccines shall be registered or approved for emergency use authorisation by the Registration Board of Drap; the vaccines shall not be sold or distributed in the market; and the vaccines shall be administered in private sector hospitals and institutions,” it adds.
Meanwhile, federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood late on Sunday night announced that the education and health ministers would meet on March 24 at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to take a decision on opening or further closure of educational institutions in the country.
“The third coronavirus wave is serious; requires careful review. All education/health ministers will meet Wednesday March 24 at the NCOC to take a decision regarding opening or further closure of educational institutions. Health of students, teachers/staff primary consideration,” he tweeted.
A summary submitted to the federal cabinet has suggested the price of Russian vaccine Sputnik V at Rs8,449 per pack (two injections) and that of CanSino [a single dose vaccine of a Chinese company] at Rs4,225. However, the vaccine will not be sold or distributed in the market and will be administered in private hospitals and institutions.
The summary prepared by NHS Secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja and available with Dawn, states that maximum retail prices of new chemical entities/biological entities are fixed on the basis of prices in reference countries. However, no reliable information about prices in reference countries of vaccines for Covid-19 is available.
“Therefore, the federal government approved a mechanism to fix prices of these vaccines on the basis of landed cost plus formula and the same has been notified vide Statutory Regulatory Order,” Mr Khawaja said.
“Drug Pricing Committee of Drap considered maximum retail price (MRPs) fixing of two vaccines for Covid-19 — Gam-Covid-Vac Solution manufactured by FSBI N.F. Gamalaya RCEM of the Ministry of Health of Russia and Convidecia vaccine manufactured by CanSino Biologics Inc, China — on the basis of approved mechanism in its urgent meeting held on March 19, 2021 and determined MRPs of these vaccines on the basis of approved mechanism,” he added.
“Price for Gam-Covid-Vac (Viral Vector 5 and Viral Vector 26) be fixed at Rs8,449 per pack of two injections, Rs16,560 per pack of four injections, Rs40,555 per pack of 10 injections and Rs81,110 per pack of 20 injections. Price of Convidecia vaccine be fixed at Rs4,225 per injection. Approval of the federal cabinet is solicited,” states the summary.
According to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre, 3,667 Covid-19 cases and 44 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours across the country.
A total of 299 ventilators were occupied across the country on Sunday —53 per cent in Islamabad, 48pc in Multan, 40pc in Lahore and 32pc in Peshawar. Data of oxygenated beds for Covid-19 patients showed that 78pc was occupied in Gujrat, 61pc in Peshawar, 46pc in Islamabad and 34pc in Rawalpindi.
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2021