Pfizer has announced it is to supply all its current and future patent-protected medicines and vaccines on a not-for-profit basis to 45 lower-income countries and is talking to other big drugmakers about similar steps, The Guardian reported.
Announcing an “accord for a healthier world” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, the New York-based pharma firm pledged to provide all its products that are available in the US and Europe on a cost basis to 1.2 billion people in all 27 low-income countries such as Afghanistan and Ethiopia, plus 18 lower-middle-income countries including Ghana.
Pfizer has previously been accused of “pandemic profiteering” over the huge profits it has generated from coronavirus-related medicines over the past two years. It made almost $15 billion in sales in only three months from the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with Germany’s BioNTech and its new Covid pill for people who are at high risk of severe disease, The Guardian reported.
“We are living in a time where science is increasingly demonstrating the ability to take on the world’s most devastating diseases,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said. “Unfortunately, there exists a tremendous health equity gap in our world that determines which of us can use these innovations and which of us cannot.”
He told the WEF gathering in Switzerland: “I’m certain that the other pharmaceutical companies will follow. I’ve spoken to several of the CEOs and they want to be part of it. So medicines will be available I hope but it’s not going to be enough. We need to also work on the ground for diagnosis, treatments, and for that we need the help of WHO, Doctors without Borders and many other organisations.”