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Bharat Biotech cancels Covaxin deals with 2 Brazil firms after graft row, says will work with govt regulator

The decision comes after the Brazil government suspended the deal to procure 20 million doses of Covaxin, facing graft allegations.
Bharat Biotech says it has cancelled the agreement with Brazil’s Precisa Medicamentos for exporting Covaxin to the country. (HT_PRINT)
Published on Jul 23, 2021 09:07 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech on Friday announced that it has terminated the memorandum of understanding regarding its anti-Covid vaccine Covaxin with Brazil's Precisa Medicamentos, but the company will continue to work with the government healthcare authority Anvisa to get all the required approvals for the use of Covaxin in Brazil. The decision comes after the Brazil government suspended the deal to procure 20 million doses of Covaxin facing graft allegations.

Both the Bolsonaro government in Brazil and India's Bharat Biotech faced a massive controversy over the Covaxin deal as whistleblowers from Brazil's health ministry alleged that though Pfizer was offering its vaccines at a lower price, the government was dealing with Bharat Biotech.

The Bolsonaro government denied any wrongdoing as the government said it had not paid anything to Bharat Biotech, which the vaccine maker confirmed and said that it did not send any vaccine to Brazil.

For selling Covaxin in Brazil, Bharat Biotech entered into an agreement with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals LL.C. The agreement was signed on November 20, 2020, before it was granted emergency authorisation in the country. Bharat Biotech earlier said that it got 'emergency use approval' on June 4, but later it was clarified that on June 4, Anvisa authorised exceptional import of Covaxin vaccine by the ministry of health for distribution and use under controller conditions.

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"The Company has terminated the said MOU with immediate effect. Notwithstanding such termination, Bharat Biotech will continue to work diligently with ANVISA, the Brazilian drug regulatory body to complete the regulatory approval process for Covaxin," Bharat Biotech said in a statement.

After the Brazil government cancelled the deal, Bharat Biotech clarified that its international price was already in the public knowledge. The global pricing was set between $15-20 and it offered Covaxin to the Brazil government at a rate of $15.

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