Private sales of the vaccine could reach a retail price of 1,125 taka ($ 13.27) per dose, Beximco’s chief operating officer told Reuters.
Bangladeshi Beximco Pharmaceuticals will buy up to three million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India at around $ 8 each to sell in the private market, Beximco’s COO told the agency Reuters press release.
COO Rabbur Reza said it was about double the price of around $ 4 that Beximco had agreed for separate supplies of five million doses per month, during the first half of the year. year, for the Bangladeshi government-sponsored mass vaccination program.
The Serum Institute will begin deliveries of the shot later this month, for both public and private use, Reza told Reuters on Tuesday. The vaccine is given in two separate doses per patient, usually with weeks between them.
Delivery of vaccines to eastern neighbor India, the world’s eighth most populous country with over 160 million people, comes as India tries to meet global vaccine demand and strengthen its reputation as a pharmaceutical power.
Private sales of the vaccine by Beximco could start in Bangladesh next month, and at a retail price of around 1,125 taka ($ 13.27) per dose, Reza said. Currently, the company has an agreement for one million doses which could be increased by another two million, he added.
Pricing and details of the offer have not been previously reported.
Beximco, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh, is the exclusive distributor of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.
Reza said Beximco had also had preliminary discussions with other Indian vaccine developers such as Biological E and Bharat Biotech, whose shot was approved this month by India as a backup to one developed by AstraZeneca. with the University of Oxford.
“From now on, our partner is Serum and we will continue with them, this is our goal,” said the COO in a telephone interview. “If the government wants more vaccines, we can also discuss other vaccines that Serum is working on – if the government wants anything other than AstraZeneca.”
Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker, plans to sell 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for 200 rupees ($ 2.73) each to the Indian government, and will charge slightly more for subsequent purchases. India has already purchased 11 million doses at this initial rate.
Serum wants to sell the vaccine for 1,000 rupees ($ 13.66) per dose on the private market, whenever permitted by New Delhi.
Although Beximco initially pays $ 4 per dose for the vaccine for the Bangladeshi government program, the price will eventually be adjusted to about the average rate the Indian government would pay Serum, Reza said.
The serum supports the transport of vaccines to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka from India.
Reza said Beximco has the option to purchase additional volumes from Serum for the state’s immunization program than the 30 million doses currently agreed for the country, which has reported more than 523,000 cases of COVID-19 and 7,800 death.
As a low-income country, Bangladesh will also receive around 68 million doses of vaccine – possibly including the one developed by Pfizer Inc with its partner BioNTech SE – at a rate subsidized by the Global Vaccine Alliances.
Serum has partnered with UK drug maker AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance to produce more than a billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the poorest countries.