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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Pfizer will provide low-cost medicines, vaccines to poor countries

Pfizer said on Wednesday it would provide about two dozen products, including its best-selling COVID-19 vaccine and treatment, at non-profit prices in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The drugmaker announced the program at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, and said it aims to improve health equity in 45 low-income countries. Most of the countries are in Africa, but the list also includes Haiti, Syria, Cambodia and North Korea.

The products, which are widely available in the US and the European Union, include 23 drugs and vaccines used to treat infectious diseases, certain cancers, and rare and inflammatory conditions. Company spokeswoman Pam Eisele said there are currently very few drugs and vaccines available in 45 countries.

New York-based Pfizer will only charge manufacturing costs and “minimum” distribution expenses, Eisele said. It will comply with any restrictions and all other applicable laws.

Earlier this month, the head of the World Health Organization called on Pfizer to make its COVID-19 treatment more widely available in poor countries. Pfizer has said that its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnati, is already being provided to poorer counties at a rate through the US government non-profit, which buys the shots and then distributes them for free.

Comirnati generated about $37 billion in sales last year, according to data firm FactSet, and analysts expect the company’s COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid to add about $24 billion this year.

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