Hyderabad: The cost of expensive pentavalent vaccines in the country is set to witness a fall with Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) getting ready to launch its affordable vaccine in the coming few months.
The vaccine development and research institute, a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has recently completed its multi-centric phase three clinical trials of its indigenously developed pentavalent vaccine on humans.
According to senior officials from the IIL, the nod to mass manufacture the pentavalent vaccine from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) is expected in the next few months. The vaccine will be manufactured out of the existing IIL facilities at Gachibowli and Karakpatla, located 60 km from here.
The IIL authorities have said that once the pentavalent vaccine goes into mass production, the costs would come down by less than 50 per cent in the Indian retail market
“We have completed human trials of our pentavalent vaccine successfully. Our vaccine will definitely shake up the market because of our aggressive pricing strategy. The DCGI is expected to give us a green signal in the coming months. We are getting ready for the launch soon,” IIL Managing Director Dr. K Anand Kumar told ‘Telangana Today’.
A single shot of pentavalent vaccine, which protects children from five life threatening ailments, costs anywhere between Rs.1,000 and Rs. 1,200 in private hospitals.
Due to expensive nature of the vaccine, parents who can’t afford them tend to discontinue administering the drug to children, a major reason why the Union and State governments had last year introduced pentavalant vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in the State.
In fact, as part of the UIP, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi and State government are incurring an annual expenditure of Rs.20 crore annually to provide pentavalent vaccine for children in Telangana.
“We are already the leading manufacturers of rabies vaccine for humans and Foot and Mouth disease vaccines in animals in the country. The pentavalent vaccine should bring down the costs by less than half of this important vaccine in India,” says Dr. Anand.
Also known as five-in-one-shot, the pentavalent vaccine is aimed at providing immunity to children from diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus (DPT), hepatitis B and pneumonia due to HiB, which is Haemophilus influenza type B.