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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

To ensure availability of anti-rabies vaccine, Delhi cabinet approves procurement from single bidder

cities Updated: Oct 16, 2019 20:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

To ensure availability of anti-rabies vaccines in Delhi hospitals, the Delhi cabinet on Wednesday approved the procurement of 80,000 vials of the vaccine on a single bid.

The cabinet also ex-post-facto approved the procurement of 40,000 vials from an earlier bid.

“Usually, for purchasing any medicine or item, an open tender is floated and the lowest bidder is selected. However, there was a shortage of rabies vaccine in the market and for the last tender, there had been only one bidder who would have been able to fulfil the order. Purchasing something when there is only one bidder has to go through the cabinet,” said a senior Delhi government official, on condition of anonymity.

Rabies is a viral disease that is almost always fatal once contracted. Vaccination after an animal bite prevents the onset of the disease.

Globally, 55,000 people die of rabies annually; 36% of these deaths are reported from India, according to the World Health Organisation.

The vaccines could not be procured by the Delhi government because of the withdrawal of previous rate contract provided by sellers, poor availability of the vaccine in the open market, and the single bid in open tender, the government said.

A meeting was held by the director general of health services, union government, to look at possible solutions. It was decided that it may be procured from the public sector undertaking and other State Medical Service Corporations.

The acute shortage of the vaccines had started since late last year due to production and supply from one of the manufacturers, Chiron Behring, stopping. The other manufacturers of the vaccine in India are Serum Institute of India, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech.

“During the shortage, 40 thousand vials had been procured from the Tamilnadu Medical Services Corporation Ltd. And the Indian Immunologicals Limited without a competitive bidding. This is what has been approved by the cabinet,” the official said.