Activists urge pharmaceutical companies to be transparent about the costs and terms of providing COVID-19 vaccine

Reuters:

Activists urge 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 drug maker Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline said that 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 to 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.

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.

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.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our priority has been to ensure that all people enjoy the fruits of science … 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.

The Story is entirely sourced from Reuters News Agency