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The company should publicly commit to human rights in relation to product development and marketing, by adopting an official human rights policy statement recognising the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The company should endeavour to integrate human rights into its strategies, policies, programmes, projects, and activities.
The company should also have a publicly available global access plan for their Covid-19 product, based on human rights standards, with measurable targets and lines of accountability.
Pfizer has a statement of commitment to equitable access on its website, which includes a tiered pricing approach, investing 1 billion USD to support the manufacturing and distribution of Paxlovid, as well as contract manufacturing options to ensure access in LMICs. Pfizer has also signed a voluntary license agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to help expand access to 53% of the world’s population. Paxlovid is also included in Pfizers’ ‘Accord for a Healthier World’.
The company should constructively engage with international initiatives for the equitable distribution of vaccines and therapeutics, such as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) or the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), and the ACT Accelerator (COVAX). The company should also publicly commit to not enforcing the exclusive rights of Covid-19 related patents, and enter into non-exclusive, transparent licensing agreements for its Covid-19 products with other companies.
The countries that are included in the MPP license can produce the drug without patent barriers.
However, Pfizer has pending patent applications in 61 other countries and regional patent offices.
Pfizer is also opposing the compulsory licensing request in the Dominican Republic.
In March 2022, Pfizer agreed to supply UNICEF with up to 4 million doses of Paxlovid for 95 low- and middle-income countries. These are the same countries included in the MPP deal.
Pfizer has also signed a letter of intent with the Global Fund for supply of up to 6 million courses Paxlovid to all Global Fund eligible countries (130).
The company should engage in efforts to further equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines/therapeutics, by equitably distributing its supplies globally, devising fair pricing strategies, and making the active ingredient for its product available to other manufacturers. The company should also engage in full technology transfer to other manufacturers, including the necessary transfer of skills, legal components, knowledge and intellectual property. Where applicable, the company should agree to waive rights in regulatory test data, and refrain from enforcing TRIPS+ measures.
Pfizer is not making the active ingredient for Paxlovid available to other manufacturers
Pfizer has stated that it will adopt a tiered pricing approach for Paxlovid, but it is as yet unclear what low-income countries will pay for the drug. So far, Paraguay and Panama have bought Paxlovid for 250 US dollars per dose instead of the normal price of 530 US dollars. Pfizer has said it plans to charge high-income countries 700 US dollars per course.
In its response to our questionnaire, Pfizer stated: “During the pandemic, Pfizer will offer its oral therapy through a tiered pricing approach, pending country authorization or approval, based on the income level of each country to promote equity of access across the globe. High- and upper-middle income countries will pay more than lower income countries, which will pay a not-for-profit price.“