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SHC orders govt to fix price of privately imported vaccine in week

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

A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito disposed of an appeal of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) that challenged a single bench’s March 18 verdict.

On March 18, the single bench had suspended the drug regulatory authority’s notification with regard to the withdrawal of exemption in Covid-19 vaccines import to a private pharma company.

Also Read: Pakistan to import CanSino vaccine in bulk to package 3m doses: Umar

The firm’s lawyer stated before the court that the DRAP allowed the import of vaccine under certain conditions on Feb 2, following which the pharma company imported one million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine.

He lamented that the firm is not being allowed to sell the vaccine. “We have already invested $45 million and imported the vaccine. What should we do now?” he asked.

Also Read: SHC puts Govt on notice over Covid vaccine price, distribution

A DRAP counsel requested the court to not allow the sale of the vaccine until its price is fixed. He said the firm couldn’t be allowed to fix the vaccine price as the authority to do so rests with the government. He said the company wants to sell the vaccine at desired prices.

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

“Tell us whether you want the vaccine or not?” the bench asked the DRAP counsel.

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