Business

Activists urge ‘Big Pharma’ to be transparent on COVID-19 vaccine costs By Reuters



By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – Activists called on pharmaceutical companies on Thursday to be transparent about the costs and terms of providing COVID-19 vaccines, saying they must be available and affordable for all.

French drugmaker Sanofi (PA:) and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (L:) said on Wednesday they would supply 200 million doses of their COVID-19 candidate vaccine to the global COVAX vaccine facility backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine alliance.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) demanded the two companies provide details around price, supply and distribution of any vaccine proven safe and effective.

“Pharmaceutical corporations Sanofi and GSK must sell their vaccines at-cost and open their books to show the public exactly how much it costs to make the vaccine,” said Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser at MSF’s Access Campaign.

“There is no room for secrets during a pandemic and past experience tells us that we can’t take pharma at their word without data to back up their claims,” she said in a statement.

Sanofi spokesman Nicolas Kressmann said in a response to Reuters: “Sanofi and GSK will apply a tiered pricing for COVAX, whereby lower income countries are intended to pay significantly lower prices for the adjuvanted vaccine than higher income countries.

“The details of the contracts and discussions we are engaged in are confidential,” he added.

No company has shared information on research and development, clinical trials or manufacturing costs of potential COVID-19 vaccines, MSF said, adding this was vital for the public to assess prices set.

More than half of the expected volume of doses of leading candidate vaccines has been bought up by 13% of the world, mainly high-income countries, the medical charity said.

READ  Long Bailey blames Labour defeat on Brexit ‘process’ obsession

Human Rights Watch, in a separate report, said governments funding vaccines with public money should be transparent about terms and conditions attached.

The New York-based group urged states to back a proposal by India and South Africa to wave some aspects of intellectual property (IP) rules on patents to enable large-scale manufacturing and affordability.

A temporary IP waiver was debated this month in the World Trade Organization (WTO), but was opposed by the United States, European Union, Britain, Switzerland and others.

“In these difficult times the best health technologies and discoveries cannot be reserved only for a few, they must be available to all,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a UNESCO event on “Open Science” on Tuesday.

“Sharing data and information that is often kept secret or protected by intellectual property could significantly advance the speed at which technologies are developed,” Tedros added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

READ  What happened to the stock market on Thursday: Nasdaq hits 9,000





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply