In a joint statement, the two said Dr Reddy’s has sole distribution right of the first 250 million doses of the vaccine in India.
At least eight companies responded to a global Expression of Interest by Maharashtra, and seven to Mumbai assuring supply of Sputnik V vaccine. The Maharashtra government had issued an EOI for 5 crore doses and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for 1 crore doses earlier this month. The government will hold a video conference this week with all the companies. Some of the bidding companies also quoted AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines in their bid, with rates ranging from $10-38 for a dose.
Of the eight companies that responded to Maharashtra’s EOI, three work in the health sector. The rest specialise in trade in food products, apparel, automobile, media and entertainment. Of them, three are based in India and the rest in Mexico, Switzerland, US and UAE.
Officials from Dr Reddy’s said they plan to launch the vaccine commercially by mid-June. “In the last few days, there have been several unsubstantiated reports and claims from various quarters in India on alleged tie-ups for the Sputnik V vaccine,” RDIF and Dr Reddy’s joint statement said. It added that Dr Reddy’s has not entered in any partnership with any party to supply the vaccine in India. “Beware of unauthorised individuals offering fake deals or procurement of the Sputnik V vaccine,” the statement added.
RDIF, however, has global distributors for supplying the Russian vaccine. One of the companies that responded to Maharashtra’s EOI said it plans to import through a Switzerland-based distributor called CDP Swiss. Jagat Jit Singh, founder of GameChangerz, said they are in talks with the global distributor and as per government norms can import vaccines and supply in India.
The other companies that responded to Maharashtra’s EOI are Tapadiya International Interventional Technology and Healthcare Ltd, GetIt Innovations Private Ltd, both Indian, and ProcureNet, Kinfolk Trading FZC, Grupo Fermexor, Medical Supply Company of Switzerland (MSCS) and Hadley Development LLC based in foreign countries.
On Thursday, Romania-based O2 Blue Energy SRL withdrew its bid from BMC a day after Pfizer announced it had not partnered with any firm for vaccine distribution. O2 Energy had assured supply of Pfizer-BioNtech and AstraZeneca vaccine to BMC.
An official from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said the pharma company continues to engage in direct talks with the government and private sector to explore partnerships.
Meanwhile, both BMC and the Maharashtra government are in the process of scrutinising each bid and have asked companies to provide more technical information.