Isolated against patent waivers, Pfizer and Moderna Hike vaccine prices
“Capitalism never fails to surprise,” wrote one observer
As some of the world’s richest countries continue to oppose temporary patent waivers for Covid-19 vaccines to deploy life-saving vaccines more quickly around the world, pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna have increased the price of drugs. European Union orders.
In its new supply contract with the EU, Pfizer announced a price of over $ 23 per dose, up nearly 25% from around $ 18 in previous purchases. Moderna said in its latest deal that its mRNA vaccine will cost a tenth more than its previous price, charging $ 25.50 per dose.
âOur governments are complicit in this heist by pharmaceutical companies and businesses at all levels in other sectors. This is the system they helped create. âTahir Amin, intellectual property lawyer
The two companies plan to supply the EU with 2.1 billion doses of vaccine through 2023, and are already expected to raise tens of billions of dollars this year from vaccine sales.
“Capitalism never fails to surprise,” New Yorker writer John Cassidy tweeted in response to a Financial Times article.
With patent protections maintained by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as EU countries including Germany, Switzerland and the UK oppose the lifting of commercial aspects of property rights Intellectual Property (TRIPS) for products related to Covid-19, vaccine doses have mainly been available in wealthy countries.
According to the latest New York Times analysis, 0.3% of the doses were given in low-income countries, prompting public health experts to warn that Covid-19 will continue to mutate and that dangerous and highly infectious diseases like Delta will continue to emerge and spread around the world.
The companies are raising their prices “just in time for the Delta variant,” an observer wrote on Twitter.
Pfizer and Moderna have raised prices as Europe faces supply chain issues with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines – the latter being more widely available in low-income countries – and new studies have found showed superior efficacy of mRNA vaccines compared to the cheaper shots.
An official involved in the price negotiations told the Financial Times that Pfizer and Moderna used “the usual pharmaceutical rhetoric” to discuss the price increases.
âThe vaccines work, so they’ve increased the ‘value’,â the official said.
With the two companies continuing to sell most of their supply to high-income countries, Pfizer’s sales are now expected to reach $ 56 billion and Moderna’s are expected to reach $ 30 billion.
âThe EU, do you want to rethink your position on a patent waiver? Tweeted Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, who has been asking the WTO for months to lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines.
Intellectual property lawyer Tahir Amin wrote on social media that lifting patent protections for vaccines, as first proposed by South African and Indian WTO representatives last year , would suspend the tool “which allows and supports this monopoly” controlled by Big Pharma.
âOur governments are complicit in this robbery by pharmaceutical companies and businesses at all levels in other sectors,â Amin said.
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