Karnataka turns down Sputnik V bids by two firms

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The Karnataka government has taken the call to turn down the bids made by companies for supplying Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine citing the exorbitantly high prices quoted by the companies.

The government decided to reject the bid as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories announced about having the sole distribution rights for the first 250 million doses of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine and that the Hyderabad-based pharma company has no collaboration or partnership for the same.

Responding to the global tender of Karnataka, Bulk MRO Industrial Supply Pvt Ltd from Mumbai had proposed to supply Sputnik V, alongside Bengaluru’s Thulasi Systems stated it could supply single dose Sputnik V Light. The floated tender on May 14 was closed on May 24.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said to DH on Friday, “They have quoted very high rates. They will be rejected.”

“I have asked officials to extend the time limit for participation in the tender, given that things are slowly settling down and production of vaccines is happening,” he further added.

The state government floated the tender to procure 2 crore vaccines in four installments of 50 lakh to overcome the current shortage of vaccines and allotted a budget of Rs 843 crore for the same.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratries with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced that a legal action has been initiated against “unscrupulous elements committing fraud” pertaining to the supply of Sputnik V vaccine.

Dr. Reddy’s stated the company is having talks with the government and private sector to engage in any partnerships or collaborations. It added, “ Dr Reddy’s has fully put in a place cold storage logistics as well as track-and-trace arrangements for the vaccine.”

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