Govt directed to fix price of privately imported vaccine shots

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the federal government to fix within a week the price of Covid-19 vaccine jabs imported by the private sector.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito disposed of an appeal filed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) challenging an earlier verdict.

The March 18 verdict had suspended a DRAP notification with regard to the withdrawal of exemption in Covid-19 vaccines import to a private pharma company.

The firm’s counsel said that the regulator had allowed the import of vaccine on February 2 under certain conditions, following which the company imported one million doses of Russian Sputnik-V vaccine.

The counsel lamented the firm is not being allowed to sell the doses. “The company invested $45 million to import the doses. What should we do with it now?” he asked.

A DRAP counsel requested the court to not allow the sale of the vaccine until its price is fixed by the federal cabinet.

He said that the firm could not be allowed to fix the vaccine price as the authority to do so rests with the government. He said that the company intends to sell the vaccine at inflated prices.

The counsel for the firm demanded the government allow it to re-export the vaccine if it is not being allowed to sell it.

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