Serum Institute of India: COVID-19 Vaccine Pricing
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Serum Institute of India (SII) was the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines and had signed an agreement to produce the Oxford vaccine, a top five candidate. The chief executive officer, Adar Poonawala, had announced in late July 2020 that the government of India had agreed to buy two doses of the vaccine, at a price of US$13 per dose. In early August, two developments caused Adar to revisit SII's initial pricing decision. The first development was that Russia had announced it had developed a vaccine that was ready for mass distribution in early October—two months ahead of SII. The second development was that Johnson & Johnson had announced a price of US$10 per dose. The case outlines the decisions facing SII concerning the pricing strategy and pricing dynamics for their COVID-19 vaccine.
The case was designed for use in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on marketing, pricing, or business analytics. This case illustrates the principles of pricing strategies motivated by skimming and penetration. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to:
- Understand the conditions that favor skimming versus penetration pricing strategies.
- Analyze the effect of pursuing either of the strategies on the financials of a company.
India, Large, 2020
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