Pfizer, the American pharmaceuticals and biotechnology company, has reportedly announced that it intends to provide all its existing and future patent-protected drugs and vaccines to 45 low-income nations on a non-profit basis. The company also urged other major pharmaceutical companies to take similar steps.
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual convention in Davos, the US-based pharmaceutical company committed to provide all of its medicines that are available in Europe and the US at cost to 1.2 billion people in all 27 low-income nations, which includes Ethiopia and Afghanistan, as well as 18 lower-middle-income nations, such as Ghana.
Pfizer has been accused of ‘pandemic profiteering’ in the last two years due to the high profits it has made from coronavirus-related drugs. The Covid-19 vaccination it made with Germany's BioNTech, as well as its new Covid tablet for those at high risk of serious disease, generated nearly $15 billion in sales in just three months.
Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, remarked that science is progressively showing the potential to take on the most terrible diseases in the world. However, there is a huge health equity gap in the world that decides who may benefit from these advances and who may not.
In 2021, Bourla was paid over $24 million in terms of perks, pay, and stock options after the firm's full year profits more than doubled, up approximately 15% from the previous year.
Pfizer has claimed that producing its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, one of only two on the market, would be difficult for others since it requires over 280 components from 86 suppliers in 19 nations. Moderna, the company behind the second mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, has agreed not to impose its coronavirus vaccine patents in certain low- and middle-income nations.
Pfizer is collaborating with healthcare officials in Ghana, Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and Senegal to offer expertise in diagnosis, training, and education for nurses, doctors, while also helping with improvements to the infrastructure to guarantee that all medications and vaccinations reach individuals who need them.
Pfizer is currently working alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to produce new medicines, including vaccines to prevent the fatal Group B streptococcus as well as respiratory syncytial virus, which can be deadly for children and the elderly.
Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/25/pfizer-to-offer-low-cost-medicines-to-45-lower-income-countries