Bharat Biotech Cancels Covaxin Deal with Brazil Firms Amid Controversy

Bharat Biotech on Friday said it has scrapped agreements with two Brazilian companies- Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals.

controversy over a $324 million deal between Brazil and Bharat Biotech for the import of 20 million doses of the made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, Bharat Biotech on Friday said it has scrapped agreements with two Brazilian companies.

After the deal sparked a major political controversy in the south american country and led to an investigation by authorities, the Indian drugmaker has now cancelled the agreements with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals.

“The company has terminated the said MoU with immediate effect. Notwithstanding such termination, Bharat Biotech will continue to work diligently with ANVISA, the Brazilian drug regulatory body to complete the regulatory approval process for Covaxin,” it said.

It also added that Bharat Biotech is pursuing approvals in various countries as per legal requirements applicable in each country.

Bharat Biotech, denying emphatically last month any wrongdoing on its part amid the growing controversy, had said that it had followed a “step-by-step” approach, and that: “EUA (was) received on June 4”.

However, after Brazilian authorities contradicted its claim, Bharat Biotech replaced “EUA received on June 4″ in its statement with ‘On 4th June, ANVISA authorized exceptional import of Covaxin vaccine by Ministry of Health for distribution and Use Under Controlled Conditions”.

Last month, Brazil health minister had announced the suspension of a $324 million contract with the Indian company.

This came after health ministry official, Ricardo Miranda, red-flagged potential illegalities in the acquisition process of the vaccines, saying he had been pressured to clear the doubtful invoice.

After the deal signed in February, the comparatively high prices for Covaxin, which had not cleared regulatory hurdles, drew prosecutorsā€™ attention to the deal. Brazilian federal prosecutors began an investigation into the deal on 24 June.


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