Pfizer moves to a non-profit model for drug sales in 45 lower-income countries – Endpoints News


Lead­ing the way to in­crease ac­cess to cheap­er drugs world­wide, Pfiz­er said Wednes­day it will pro­vide all cur­rent and fu­ture patent-pro­tect­ed med­i­cines and vac­cines avail­able in the US or EU on a not-for-prof­it ba­sis to about 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple in 45 low­er-in­come coun­tries.

Rwan­da, Ghana, Malawi, Sene­gal and Ugan­da are the first five coun­tries to sign on to this ac­cord, which will al­so seek to blaze new paths for quick and ef­fi­cient reg­u­la­to­ry and pro­cure­ment process­es to re­duce the usu­al de­lays in mak­ing new med­i­cines and vac­cines avail­able in these coun­tries.

“Com­bined with ad­di­tion­al in­vest­ments in strength­en­ing Africa’s pub­lic health sys­tems and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal reg­u­la­tors, the Ac­cord is an im­por­tant step to­ward sus­tain­able health se­cu­ri­ty for coun­tries at every in­come lev­el,” Pres­i­dent of Rwan­da Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame said in a state­ment.

Pfiz­er says so far it’s com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing 23 med­i­cines and vac­cines that treat var­i­ous in­fec­tious dis­eases, can­cers, and rare and in­flam­ma­to­ry dis­eases, which col­lec­tive­ly could save about one mil­lion lives each year in these coun­tries, as well as help at least 500,000 more bat­tling chron­ic dis­eases that sig­nif­i­cant­ly im­pact qual­i­ty of life.

The Bill & Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion is al­so help­ing out, fund­ing Pfiz­er’s work around new vac­cine can­di­dates for the pre­ven­tion of Group B Strep­to­coc­cus, which is a lead­ing cause of still­birth and new­born mor­tal­i­ty in low-in­come coun­tries. The two sides are al­so dis­cussing op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­port RSV vac­cine de­vel­op­ment, an­oth­er ma­ter­nal vac­cine.

Pfiz­er’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion­al RSV vac­cine can­di­date builds on dis­cov­er­ies made at the NIH, which de­tailed the crys­tal struc­ture of pre­fu­sion F, a key form of the vi­ral fu­sion pro­tein that RSV us­es to at­tack hu­man cells. In March, Pfiz­er’s vac­cine can­di­date re­ceived a break­through des­ig­na­tion from the FDA for the pre­ven­tion of RSV-as­so­ci­at­ed low­er res­pi­ra­to­ry tract dis­ease in in­fants from birth up to six months of age by ac­tive im­mu­niza­tion of preg­nant women.

Pfiz­er CEO Al­bert Bourla told the Fi­nan­cial Times in an in­ter­view at the World Eco­nom­ic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land that this ac­cord is not linked to Pfiz­er’s op­po­si­tion to a pro­pos­al at the WTO to pro­vide patent flex­i­bil­i­ties around Covid-19 vac­cines.

“I don’t con­nect the two at all. Frankly, I think it is some­thing that is the right thing to do,” Bourla said.

Mean­while, on the Covid-19 front, he said he’s wor­ried about the com­pla­cen­cy world­wide, warn­ing that con­se­quences could be seen in three to six months.


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