Sindh High Court (SHC) Thursday permitted the private company that had imported Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to begin selling it — as the country battles the wave of the coronavirus.
The company’s lawyer told the court the government had set the tariff on coronavirus vaccines after his client had imported the vaccine, therefore, it does not apply to the company’s imported vaccine.
The statements in the SHC came during the hearing of an appeal by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) against the release of the Sputnik V vaccine.
The private company’s lawyer assured the court it would voluntarily provide details about the market price of the vaccine.
Further, the court remarked that everyone was on board to fight the pandemic.
“At this stage, it is against the public interest to stop the sale of [the] coronavirus vaccine … stopping vaccination is not suitable.”
The court, while allowing the sale of the vaccine, said the hearing on the petition filed regarding the price of the vaccine would continue.
It is pertinent to mention here that according to the company’s formula, the rate of two doses of Sputnik V vaccine would be Rs12,268.
A day earlier, the government of Pakistan was ordered by the SHC to fix the price of Sputnik V within the next seven days.
SHC Justice Amjad Ali Sahito remarked that whoever wishes to import the coronavirus vaccine should do so once the rates are fixed.
DRAP’s legal counsel told the court that a restraining order had been issued regarding Sputnik V’s rates.
“It’s a matter of public interest and the price is yet to be fixed,” the lawyer said.
In response, SHC’s Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar said the vaccine could not be sold in the market until the drug inspector approves it with their signature.
“I understand that it’s a matter of public interest but go to the concerned judge,” Justice Mazhar added.