The cancellation of the contract comes in the wake of corruption allegations being made against the present government of Brazil in securing the Bharat Biotech vaccines worth $320 million.
In a surprising development, Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has cancelled the contract to supply its Coronavirus vaccine Covaxin to Brazil. The company in a statement issued on Friday said that it has terminated the contract to supply the vaccine supplies to the South American nation with immediate effect, the Indian Express reported. The cancellation of the contract comes in the wake of corruption allegations being made against the present government of Brazil in securing the Bharat Biotech vaccines worth $320 million. Even as the country is probing the allegations against the government, it had already suspended the vaccine deal with the pharma major before the company decided to terminate the deal.
The Indian Express reported that it remains unclear if the decision taken by the Indian company is anyway related to the allegations of irregularities in securing the vaccine contract. The pharma major also refrained from mentioning the reason for cancelling its contract with Brazil’s pharma companies Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia. Precisa Medicamentos is the Brazilian company which had partnered with Bharat Biotech to not only disburse the vaccine supplies but also undertake clinical trials of the same on the adult population of Brazil.
While Bharat Biotech remained tight-lipped about the reason behind cancellation of the order, it maintained that it will remain in touch with the Brazilian drug regulator to conclude the approval process for its vaccine. So far the company has not signalled signing any fresh contract with another pharma major in the country but it might sign a fresh contract to supply vaccine doses to the heavily populated South American nation in the future.
The Brazil’s Parliamentary Inquiry Committee taking cognisance of irregularities in the vaccine contract has started its probe against President Jair Bolsonaro’s government. The reports had alleged that there were some irregularities associated with the hike in the vaccine price.