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Now, Glenmark, Cipla, Sun Pharma In Talks With Foreign Vaccine Makers

Indian pharmaceutical majors Glenmark Pharma, Sun Pharma and Cipla are in early-stage talks with foreign vaccine manufacturers to bring in foreign vaccines into the country. Looks like they will follow a similar tie up like what Dr Reddys did with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that markets Sputnik V vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology & Microbiology. With this move, now it is getting increasingly clear that the Centre was keen to “diversify” vaccine control to multiple companies as against only Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech. For a country with 130 crore people it is a little risky to bank on two companies to manage the entire logistics. Though the government earmarked Rs 35,000 crore for vaccination under its budgetary provisions, Serum was only given just over Rs 3,000 crore which was clearly not enough to meet the sudden surge in demand. Hence the country faced shortages due to this policy-level confusion and as things stand it will clearly take a month or more for regularising Indian vaccination programme.