The health ministry is pressing ahead with plans to sell off the state vaccination institute Intravacc which develops vaccines. The production arm was sold to an Indian company in 2012 but the R&D department has remained in government hands.
Companies wishing to buy Intravacc have until June 2 to make a bid via EY Strategy and Transactions, which is the state’s financial advisor for the sale, according to an English-language posting on the institute’s website.
The sale was first mooted by the then health minister Edith Schippers in 2015 and preparations were halted during the coronavirus pandemic. However, new health minister Ernst Kuipers has decided to continue the process.
He says there is little added value in having a Dutch vaccine institute and would prefer an EU-wide institution to ensure the block remains self sufficient in terms of vaccine development.
In February, NOS reported that MPs are concerned about the decision to give Dutch government expertise on vaccine development to a commercial firm. Coalition party CDA also insisted on assurances that the institute won’t go to the highest bidder or to a non-EU company.
The national audit office has also warned that it may not be in the Netherlands’ interest.
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