The Association of Physicians of Pakistani-descent of North America (APPNA) has written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan to express its concerns over the inflated prices of the coronavirus vaccines, voicing fear it would render them too expensive for the poor in the country. The letter begins by bringing to the Prime Minister’s attention to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’s (DRAP) measure to allow a 40 percent mark-up for importers of the vaccines plus an additional 15 percent mark-up for retailers. “As per this formula, the price for two doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine has been fixed at Rs8,449 and that for a single dose of the Cansino Biologics vaccine at Rs4,225,” reads the letter. The association said this 15 percent mark-up over a life-saving drug in a poor country like Pakistan “cannot be justified by any means”. “APPNA is concerned that in a country where 30-40 percent people live below the poverty line, this price gouging and inflated prices for the Covid-19 vaccines will make these beyond the reach of a very large proportion of the populace,” stated the letter. It said the vaccine was the only way of controlling the coronavirus pandemic, adding that if hundreds of millions in the country will be unable to afford it, the results would be ‘catastrophic’. “A human tragedy must not be allowed to be used for profiteering. APPNA appeals to you to urgently review the situation yourself,” said the association. Saying the government is in the best position to negotiate the prices of coronavirus vaccines, the APPNA urged the government to import them itself. “Ideally the government should make the vaccine available to all the people free of cost. If the financial situation of the country however precludes that, then it should be made available to the population at no more than cost,” the APPNA said in the letter. The letter said provincial and federal governments should work together to provide subsidies to the poor, and aid people in the delivery and administration of the coronavirus vaccine.