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Pharmaniaga adding more to the vaccination drive

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KUCHING,. Pharmaniaga Bhd’s (Pharmaniaga) wholly-owned, high-tech subsidiary Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn Bhd (PLS) recently signed and secured an acceptance letter with the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MoH) to purchase an additional six million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine; making the total vaccination supply by Pharmaniaga to the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) at 18 million doses.

The acceptance letter is effective from August 11, 2021, with the execution of a supplementary agreement to enable PLS to sell, supply and deliver both imported vaccines and fill-finish products, as required by the government.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) saw this move would ultimately ensure that Malaysia achieve the targeted vaccination rate this year. Adding in the new batch, the group has secured an expected total supply of 30 million doses of Sinovac.

“We reckon the additional six million doses will come from the fill-finish operation,” it affirmed in its review today.

On March 2021, Pharmaniaga went into a contractual obligation with the federal government to supply 12 million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 fill-finish vaccines for the NIP. This contract was carried out by PLS.

Per contract, the group was to supply the vaccines within seven months (May-November 2021), which would cover about 18 per cent of the country’s population. Pharmaniaga also imported an additional 10 million finished vaccines from Sinovac as a proactive move to battle the surge of Covid-19 cases back in March.

“The effort paid off as the group managed to fully delivered the vaccines 4.5 months ahead of contract schedule, making it the first company to successfully deliver all contractual supply of vaccines to the government,” MIDF Research recapped.

“Upon the completion of the contractual distribution, Pharmaniaga had received requests to supply a total of seven million doses of Sinovac vaccine to government-linked companies (GLCs) and state governments.

“This includes supplying MajuPerak Holdings Bhd with Sinovac vaccines for the state-level Perak Vaccination Programme; however, the number of doses were not disclosed as of date.”

Currently, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has proposed that the government determine a ceiling price for Covid-19 vaccination once the Sinovac vaccine is available for sale in the market.

The ceiling price, which would include Pharmaniaga’s selling price and costs imposed by private healthcare institutions, was considered necessary to ensure the cost of vaccination remains accessible and affordable.

The government had previously allowed the sale of the vaccines beginning in August 2021. However, it is expected that implementation of vaccine procurement and administration would fully take place after the end of NIP.

“The additional procurement will positively impact Pharmaniaga’s FY21F earnings, under the condition that the new vaccine supply is from its fill-finish operation, as it holds more weight to the group’s earnings,” MIDF Research continued.

“Based on the current purchase price of Sinovac vaccines in Indonesia (approximately RM60 per dose at Indonesia’s vaccine ceiling price), we opine that the additional six million fill-finish vaccines produced by PLS could add about RM300 million in future revenue.

“We reinstate our 2HFY21 outlook that the group will be expecting a better financial performance in FY21, with the continuous boost of Sinovac vaccine supply to NIP and future sales of vaccines to private sector, GLCs and state governments, consequently contributing to widespread vaccination on the national level and socio-economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.”

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