Serum institute moves court, says govt didnít keep commitment
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The Serum Institute of India has moved the Delhi High Court alleging that the government backtracked on its authorised marketing commitment (AMC) to procure H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine. The hearing is slated for July 19.
"We have provided 52,000 doses of vaccine to the government, but it's unwilling to use it," executive director of the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer S S Jadhav told The Indian Express.
The lethal H1N1 wave in the country in 2009 had prompted the government to direct vaccine manufacturers to bring out an indigenous vaccine against swine flu. According to Jadhav, the injectible vaccine was tailormade for the government, which had paid Rs 10 crore each to three pharma companies, including Panacea and Bharat Biotech.
With the government dillydallying on procurement of the vaccines, and the shelf life of the injectible vaccine set to expire in August, the vaccine will be wasted if not accepted by the government soon, Jadhav added.
These vaccines were to be used as a "stockpile" to meet emergencies. While supplies were to be made within three months of the date of the order, the companies had requested the government to allow some more time as clinical trials had to be completed and the vaccine tested at the central drug laboratories. According to the government directive, the vaccines should have been procured by December last year.
"If the government had a problem with our quotation, they should not have placed the order," said Sunil Bahl, Business Development director at the Serum Institute. "We set up a bio-safety laboratory, used expensive raw material and incurred expenses to the tune of Rs 50 crore. Now the government is demanding their Rs 10 crore back along with interest and refusing to take the supply of vaccine as it was not given within the time period," Bahl said.
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