In another instance of showcasing the research and development strength of Indian pharmaceutical industry, India has come up with its first indigenously developed vaccine – Rotavac – under public private partnership. The indigenous low-cost vaccine aims at preventing rotavirus diarrhoea and is likely to be priced around INR 54 (US$ 1) per dose, which is 1/40th of the imported vaccines available in the market at present. Subject to clearance from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the vaccine is expected to be launched in the market for sale by next year.
The vaccine development has been supported by Department of Biotechnology, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, National Institutes of Health, Centre for Disease Control, and Stanford University. The development of this vaccine is widely seen as a scientific breakthrough, which will impact the lives of millions both in India and abroad. In fact, approximately 70 per cent patients belonging to 87 developing countries already receive medicines procured from India and the introduction of Rotavac should increase the reach of vaccines developed in India.