POLITICS

What will happen with the Emergency Procurement of “Sputnik V Vaccine” in the Federation of BiH?

There is still no official information on whether everything is ready for the import of “Sputnik V” vaccines into the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). It was confirmed from the Institute of Public Health that on Thursday they signed a contract with the wholesaler “Medimpex” from Sarajevo for the purchase of the vaccine. Not a word about whether the contract was signed with the Russians. In the meantime, the situation is becoming more complicated, since “Krajinagroup”, which imports the same vaccine in Republika Srpska (RS), has submitted a request for its registration. If that passes, no one but them will be able to import “Sputnik”.

The registration request has been submitted and in such emergencies, it can be finished within ten days, according to the Medicines Agency of BiH. With the obtaining of the status of the holder of the license for placing the “Sputnik V” vaccine on the market, the option of intervention import will no longer be possible.

“If the Agency gives a permit for placing the Sputnik V vaccine on the market, it means that Krajinagroup becomes the holder of the permit for placing the vaccine on the market. From the moment of registration of the vaccine, Sputnik V will be imported and traded regularly (and not by intervention way as it was so far). In case of vaccine registration, other wholesalers participate in the import process only if they cooperate with Krajinagroup.”

Is this obstructing the process of vaccine procurement in the FBiH? Not yet, but a quick reaction from the authorities is necessary. Vaccines can be introduced as an intervention until the Medicines Agency approves the registration, and it is theoretically possible to reject the request of “Krajinagroup”. This company did not have a comment on that.

“Krajinagroup” from Banja Luka is one of the six potential importers who applied for the procurement of “Sputnik V” for the FBiH. They did not pass the first round, because only Sarajevo’s “Medimpex” submitted complete documentation. There is still no information from the Institute of Public Health on whether the Russian Investment Fund has signed the Procurement Agreement, which is a precondition for further import activities. The Indirect Taxation Authority is explaining what is coming next.

“If it is a certain intervention import, it is necessary that there is a solution from the relevant entity Ministry of Health,” told Ratko Kovacevic, from the Indirect Taxation Authority of BiH.

In the Federal Ministry of Health, we find out that they have not yet received the request for emergency import, and that the minister, for now, has nothing to sign. Interestingly, “Krajinagroup” submitted the request for registration on Wednesday, the same day when the federal government announced that they had chosen “Medimpex” for the procurement. The plan was to deliver the first hundred thousand doses of vaccines, three days after the opening of the credentials, and for the rest to arrive in the following few weeks.

E.Dz.

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