After Covaxin, AstraZeneca in trouble in Brazil; Bolsonaro govt asked for bribe for per dose, claims report

After the corruption scandal surrounding Covaxin, India’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine, media studies in Brazil now recommend that there may very well be irregularities in the procurement of the AstraZeneca vaccine as properly.

According to Folha de S Paulo newspaper, the Bolsonaro authorities in Brazil asked for a bribe per dose of the AztraZeneca vaccine. The paper claims the Director of the Ministry of Health, Roberto Ferreira Dias, appointed by Ricardo Barros, would have asked for US$ 1 per dose of AstraZeneca.

The Director of Logistics on the Ministry of Health, Roberto Ferreira Dias, asked for a bribe of US$ 1 per dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to shut the contract. The data was handed on by the consultant of a vaccine vendor to the newspaper Folha de S Paulo.

However, an official assertion by AstraZeneca clarified that the corporate was not coping with any “private” gamers in Brazil’s pharmaceutical sector for such allegations to be genuine.

“AstraZeneca does not currently make the vaccine available via the private market or work with any intermediaries in Brazil. All agreements are directly via Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) and the Federal Government,” Fiona Cookson, Director, Global Media Relations, AstraZeneca stated.

Also See:$324 million Covaxin deal row in Brazil explained

What are the allegations?

According to studies, the corporate Davati Medical Supply sought the portfolio to barter 400 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with an preliminary supply of US$ 3.5 every after that, it went to US$ 15.5.

The assembly for the negotiations occurred at a dinner on the Vasto restaurant, in Brasília Shopping, in the central area of the federal capital, on February 25.

But, Cookson defined, “Currently, all doses of the vaccine are available under agreements signed with governments and multilateral organisations around the world, including the Covax facility.”

An in depth report filed by Folha de S Paulo newspaper stated that Luiz Paulo Dominguetti Pereira, the corporate’s consultant, stated that Roberto Ferreira Dias took a bribe throughout the dinner.

“The path of what happened behind the scenes with Roberto Dias was a very dark thing, very disgusting,” stated Dominguetti.

Roberto Dias was nominated for the place by the chief of the federal government of Jair Bolsonaro in the Chamber, Ricardo Barros (PP-PR). His appointment occurred on January 8, 2019, below former minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta (DEM).

CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AROUND BRAZIL COVAXIN CONTRACT

The Indian Covid vaccine continues to remain embroiled in a controversy over corruption charges towards President Bolsonaro and his administration.

While the well being minister introduced that the federal government has determined to droop the contract on the advice of the federal comptroller basic (CGU)”, which is investigating the alleged irregularities in the contract, he added {that a} ultimate choice on whether or not to terminate the contract or not can be taken after inquiry is full.

According to studies, an bill for advance cost of $45 million raised by the offshore associate of Bharat Biotech, Madison Biotech, is definite to change into the explanation for the upcoming cancellation of the contract.

In an 11-page official report, as per CNN Brasil, the main focus of the investigation is the bill from Madison Biotech.

“Five points are listed to justify the suspension: Attempt to make advance payment, without contractual provision; possible payment through a company not a signatory to the contract; non-compliance with contractual deadlines; non-justification of price; and breach of contract by Bharat/Precisa as reported by ministry of health,” stated the report, which largely appear to place the blame on Bharat Biotech, its offshore associate Madison Biotech and its Brazilian consultant known as Precisa Medicamentos which mediated and signed the contract.

However, Bharat Biotech has denied all of the allegations and in an in depth be aware spelt out the corporate’s “procurement process” which is in public area.

The procurement course of for Covid-19 vaccines and a number of other vaccines for routine immunization observe a “common process” which is extensively accepted, and established in trade.

There was a letter of intent (or MOU) for procurement. The firm then proceeded to use for emergency use authorization (EUA).

Also See:Step-by-step approach followed, no advance payment: Bharat Biotech on Brazil Covaxin row

What has Bharat Biotech stated?

“In the specific case of the procurement of Covaxin by MOH Brazil, since the first meetings with MOH Brazil during Nov 2020, until 29th of June 2021, a step by step approach has been followed towards contracts, and regulatory approvals, during this ~ 8 long month long process. EUA received on 04th June 2021. As of 29th June 2021, Bharat Biotech has not received any advance payments nor supplied any vaccines to MOH Brazil. Bharat Biotech has followed a similar approach towards contracts, regulatory approvals and supplies in several countries worldwide, where Covaxin is being supplied successfully,” stated the assertion by Bharat Biotech.

They additionally defined that the query of mountain climbing costs doesn’t come up because the pricing is commonplace for any occasion exterior of India. The firm caught to “international pricing” and evaluating it to costs in India will not be legitimate.

“The pricing of Covaxin has been clearly established between $15-20 per dose for supplies to governments outside India. The pricing for Brazil has also been indicated at $15 per dose. Bharat Biotech has received advance payments from several other countries at the above price points, with supplies in process, pending approvals,” stated Bharat Biotech.

To the query in regards to the nation’s associate in Brazil, they stated, “Precisa Medicamentos is Bharat Biotech’s partner in Brazil, providing assistance, guidance and support with regulatory submissions, licensure, distribution, insurance, conduct of phase III clinical trials, etc. Bharat Biotech follows a similar partnership model in all countries, where its vaccines are supplied, as it does not have its own offices in these countries.”

Adding, “Bharat Biotech and Precisa Medicamentos are conducting a 5000 subject Phase 3 clinical trial in Brazil, which was recently approved by ANVISA. The trial will be conducted by the Albert Einstein Institute.”

Also Read | Brazil suspends Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin order over graft allegations

Also Read | Can Indians fully vaccinated with Covaxin travel abroad? Here’s what you need to know

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