AstraZeneca profit-pricing shows ‘utter folly’ of handing over patent for Oxford vaccine
Date: 12 November 2021
Reacting to news that AstraZeneca will begin charging a for-profit price for its publicly-funded vaccine, Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now, said:
“AstraZeneca’s decision to start profiting from Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine mid-pandemic shows the utter folly of giving away publicly-funded science to big pharma.
“The non-profit pledge was never a gift to the world from a benevolent company. It was the most Oxford could get from a manufacturer playing hardball during a global health emergency. And AstraZeneca has still refused to share the vaccine recipe with the WHO, which would allow poorer countries to manufacture it for themselves.
“This moment was always going to come – and it’s exactly why public health experts have demanded a waiver of intellectual property on Covid-19 vaccines. Corporations will always put profits first if you give them control over who lives and who dies.
“In the future, public funding for the development of essential medicines must be conditional on global access. And we need global public manufacturing capacity to ensure this never happens again.”
Notes for editors
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was 97% publicly funded: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/apr/15/oxfordastrazeneca-covid-vaccine-research-was-97-publicly-funded
The list of countries that will continue to receive the vaccine at a not-for-profit price excludes countries including Angola, Honduras, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Zimbabwe: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/17/astrazeneca-vaccine-price-pledge-omits-some-poor-countries-contract-shows
This comment is a reaction to news that AstraZeneca will begin charging for-profit prices for its vaccine: https://news.sky.com/story/astrazeneca-eyes-modest-profit-from-covid-19-vaccine-12466692
Joe Karp-Sawey, Media Manager, Global Justice Now
Photo: Carlos l Vives / Shutterstock.com