RTI shows high increase in cost of vaccines
Three government vaccine producing institutes - Pasteur Institute of India (PII) in Coonoor, BCG Vaccine Laboratory in Guindy and the Central Research Institute (CRI) in Kasauli – were shut down in 2008 for not being compliant with good manufacturing practices (GMP).
Since then the vaccines for the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) have been being provided by the private sector companies which has led to doubling of price of most of the vaccines. Even after their reopening in 2010, the government institutes have not been able to contribute much to the UIP due to their decreased productivity.
The data provided by the Vaccine Procurement Cell in the Ministry of Health in response to an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act shows that except oral polio vaccine, all other vaccines have witnessed a cost hike. The price of vaccine has more than doubled between 2006-07 and 2012 in some cases.
90 % of the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccine was earlier supplied by the PII and the CRI whose share in production has come down to 36% and the cost of the vaccine has increased from Rs 12 to Rs 28 per vial of ten doses. The cost of tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine has increased from Rs. 6 to Rs. 15 as the share of production by government agencies has decreased from 80% to 23 %. Similarly the cost of BCG vaccine has gone up from Rs. 13 to Rs. 30 as there are no government institutes producing it.