MUMBAI: Let there be uniform Covid-19 vaccine rates, a PIL has urged Bombay high court, challenging intelligible different rates of Covishield and Covaxin by pharmaceutical companies for sale to government and private hospitals.
It was filed by advocate Fayzan Khan and three law students, aggrieved at “varying charges” announced by Serum Institute of India to give each dose of Covidshield for Rs400 to states and Rs600 to private hospitals. Bharat Biotech’s announced Covaxin rates at Rs600 for states and Rs1,200 to private hospitals. The petitioners annexed a comparative chart that showed the vaccine was cheaper in some other countries. “This denotes that pharma companies are milking fear psychosis of increased death rates due to Covid-19,’’ said the PIL filed through advocate Vivek Shukla.
It said increased rates were “not realistic and arising out of exigency”, but are intended to be an “organised loot” taking advantage of coronavirus threat to Indians. “Combating coronavirus pandemic is of national interest and private entities like SII cannot be given control over health of citizens,” it asserted. It cautioned that a huge difference in cost of vaccines was bound to promote illegal storage and black-marketing. It urged HC to direct Centre and state government to ensure it is for Rs150 a dose.