KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 – The federal government today announced retail ceiling prices for Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine at RM77 per dose, and Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine at RM61 per dose.
The price ceiling, however, excludes other charges, specified by the government as charges for services and disposables used during Covid-19 vaccination.
The wholesale price ceiling for Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine is set at RM62 per dose and RM49 per dose for Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine. The new price caps will take effect on January 15, 2022, under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (Act 723), and implemented by the Pharmacy Enforcement Division under the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi in a joint statement today said the move to introduce the price caps was to avoid the private sale of Covid-19 vaccines at exorbitant rates.
The maximum legislated prices for Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines are, in general, based on the current import and market prices, according to Khairy and Nanta.
“The government finds that the price of Covid-19 vaccines offered in the private sector are still high and varies greatly, and it is certain that these rates will burden the people, especially when the country is still facing the Covid-19 pandemic,” the two ministers said.
Random checks by CodeBlue showed that a number of private hospitals charge over RM340 for two Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses. Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur, for example, charges RM342 for two Sinovac doses, which comes in at RM171 per dose.
Prince Court Medical Centre also offers Sinovac vaccines for both adults and adolescents aged 12 to 17 at RM342 for two doses. Sunway Medical Centre charges RM350 for two Sinovac doses, and RM175 for a booster dose for fully vaccinated Sinovac recipients, with an interval of at least three months after the second dose.
The two ministers said the price list of Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be assessed and improved or dropped based on market conditions.
It is also a requirement for private health care facilities that have received government approval to offer private-purchase vaccination to display their respective Covid-19 vaccine sale prices to enhance the transparency of vaccine price information.
“With this, people can compare prices and get their Covid-19 jabs at affordable prices and make informed decisions,” both Khairy and Nanta said.
Individuals or companies who are found guilty of selling the Sinovac and Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines over the price ceiling can be penalised under Act 723.
Individuals can be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned not exceeding three years or both, or compounded up to RM50,000, while companies can be fined up to RM500,000 or compounded up to RM250,000.
The public can submit complaints related to Covid-19 vaccine price issues through the MOH’s Public Complaints Management System (SISPAA).