‘Overpriced’ Sputnik Vaccines: Ghana ought to deal with manufacturers not middlemen

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member on the Health Committee

• Mintah Akandoh has said government is making unfounded excuses to buy ‘overpriced’ Sputnik vaccines

• Although sold on the international market at $10 Ghana bought the vaccine at $19 per dose through middlemen.

• Akandoh said there is a need to thoroughly probe the issue and take an action

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has accused government of making unfounded excuses to secure the Sputnik V vaccines at a higher cost.

According to him, there is no justification for the $9 extra price at which Ghana purchased the vaccines per dose, through middlemen, while it is $10 on the international market.

“The right thing must be done so that we don’t create any desperate situation to attempt to milk the system. What is preventing the Ghana government from dealing with the manufacturer directly or joining the AU or even using the COVAX vehicle?” he quizzed.

A Norweigian news tabloid, Verdens Gang reported that Ghana has made a request to purchase 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine through two businessmen who are selling it to Ghana at $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose on the international market.

Reacting to the news report, the Chairman of Parliament’s Health Committee, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie called on the public to disregard the story.

He explained that the pandemic presents a desperate situation that requires that Ghana procures the vaccine even if it is above the regular price on the international market.

“We have not been swindled as a State…Yes, the factory price is US$10 but when you get expatriates, it gets out of the factory, there are a lot of factors that come in including the profit, commission and freight to Ghana. So you don’t expect a vaccine that costs US$ 10 at the factory to be the same price when it arrives in Ghana, especially when a middleman is getting it,” he said.

But Mr. Akandoh believes government is making unfounded excuses to buy the overpriced Sputnik vaccines

“They take advantage of the COVID-19 and claim we are in a desperate situation, and so we need it and so even if it is overpriced, we will go for it… I think that the ministry or the Minister must come clean,” he said whilst speaking to Citi News.

Mr. Akandoh said there is a need to thoroughly probe the issue and take the required action.