The government’s vaccine policy promotes the interests of pharma monopolies and that of people.
Photo source: https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/us-backed-covid-19-vaccine-patent-waiver-what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-this-step-9603101.html
The government’s recently announced vaccine policy clearly shows that instead of protecting the interests of people, today’s rulers work to make the pharmaceutical monopolies even more richer. First, they handed over the vaccine production completely to pharmaceutical monopolies, and then privatised the vaccination process itself. Not only this, the pharmaceutical monopolies are being given complete freedom to fix the vaccine price.
From March to May, the central government was buying the entire production of the vaccine at Rs. 150 per dose and the vaccine companies were making profit at that price. This has been accepted by Poonawalla himself, the owner of Serum Institute of India, producer of the Covishield vaccine.
It was clear that after the central government allowed vaccine companies to sell half the production at prices they decide from 1 May, the profits of these two vaccine companies would increase immensely. Whatever the two companies charge beyond Rs. 150, that would be additional profit for them. Since then, the prices of Covishield have been declared at Rs 300 for state governments, Rs 600 for private hospitals and Rs 400 for state governments and Rs 1200 for private hospitals for Covaxin. What is the rationale for three prices of the same vaccine and for such a big difference between the prices of two vaccines? How can the price of Covaxin for private hospitals be double that of the price of Covishield? What else could it be called but profiteering? And the central government says that the new vaccine policy is good and justified.
If the two vaccine companies produce the estimated vaccine during June 2021 to December 2021, it is estimated that the profits of these two capitalists will increase by about Rs 31,000 crore due to the new vaccination policy of the Central Government. The people of the country will have to bear a huge burden of about Rs 31,000 crore. After all, the expenditure incurred by the state governments is also the money of the people!
This policy was introduced by the Prime Minister as a gift to the people of the country! In fact, it is a gift for the capitalists.
Every government has been responsible for the neglect of public sector vaccine production units in order to promote private vaccine production. As a result, Poonawalla’s Serum Institute has become the largest vaccine producer in the world. The pro-capitalist policies of governments have made the Serum Institute such a big monopoly that at present it controls about 90% of the country’s Covid vaccine production. The monopoly profit earned through vaccine production has added Poonawala’s name to the list of 10 richest capitalists of the country. Even though his wealth is estimated to be about Rs 1,10,000 crore ($ 15 billion), he said he needed help from the government to increase the production of Covid vaccine and the government immediately gave an advance of Rs 2500 crore to him. Serum Institute of India had the highest net profit rate (43%) in the year 2019-20 among large companies of India.
It is important that we demand a new vaccine policy that will serve the interest of majority people and not the interests of a few.
The table below explains the working for the estimate of profit.
|Estimate production of doses, crore,A||88||59|
|For Central Government, 50%, crore doses B=Ax0.5||44||29.5|
|Price for Central Government, Rs/dose, C||150||150|
|Revenue from sale to Central Government, crore Rs, D=BxC||6,600||4,425|
|Estimated profit from sale to Central Government, Rs crore
@20%, E=(Cx0.2)/dose, Total profit,
|Estimated doses for state governments
25%, crore doses, G=Ax0.25
|Price for state governments
|Revenue from sale to state governments, crore Rs,J=FxG||6,600||5,900|
|Estimated profit from sale to state governments, crore Rs,
K=(H-C+E)/dose, Total Profit, L =KxG
|Estimated doses for private hospitals,
25%, Crore doses, M
|Price for private hospitals, Rs/dose, N||600||1200|
|Revenue from sale to private hospitals,
crore Rs, P=MxN
|Estimated profit from sale to private hospitals, crore Rs, Q=(N-C+E)/dose,
Total Profit, R=MxQ
|Total Revenue, Crore Rs, S=D+J+P||26,400||28,025|
|Total Profit, Crore Rs, T=F+L+R||14,840||20,945|
|If Central Government had purchased entire production,|
|Total Revenue, Crore Rs, U=AxC||13,725||9,375|
|Total Profit, Crore Rs, V= AxE||2,745||1,875|
Additional Profit, crore Rs, T-V 11,735 19,170