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Pfizer Will Sell Off Sell All Its Patented Drugs In Low-Income Countries At Nonprofit Price

Pfizer Will Sell Off Sell All Its Patented Drugs In Low-Income Countries At Nonprofit Price
Pfizer Inc announced on Wednesday that it will make all of its patented medications, including the COVID-19 therapy Paxlovid and the popular breast cancer drug Ibrance, available at a not-for-profit price to 45 of the world's poorest countries.
These countries do not have easy access to cutting-edge treatments. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, innovative therapies in low-income countries can take four to seven years to become available, if they become available at all.
Pfizer's plan includes 23 wholly-owned, patented medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases, cancer, and rare and inflammatory diseases, according to the company. The list also includes the pneumonia vaccination Prevnar 13, the rheumatoid arthritis medicine Xeljanz, and the cancer treatments Xalkori and Inlyta.
The COVID-19 vaccine produced by Comirnaty in collaboration with BioNTech SE was also included.
In an interview, Chief Executive Albert Bourla stated that all drugs made available should be useful.
"But clearly the antiviral (Paxlovid) is going to be a very big deal for them - if they need it they can get it immediately," he said.
Pfizer announced that when new medicines and vaccines are released, they would be included in the medication portfolio at a not-for-profit pricing.
Most of Africa and much of Southeast Asia are covered by the 27 low-income countries and 18 lower-income countries included in Pfizer's "An Accord for a Healthier World." Five countries have already committed to joining the agreement, which was revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos. They are Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda.
The agreement will allow the countries and the drugmaker to share "the weight of costs and tasks in the development and distribution of supplies that will save millions of lives," according to Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera.
Pfizer has been chastised for its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with some poorer nations having to wait months after the first doses arrived in wealthier ones.
The problems of that rollout, according to Bourla, have influenced the new agreement, particularly the lack of health infrastructure in some countries, which made vaccine distribution problematic.
"Instead of washing our hands and saying, 'I gave you the product, do whatever you want with them,' we're saying, 'We'll give you the products and we will sit with you to see how we can help organize a system that can utilize them,'" Bourla said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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