Ministers have agreed a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain’s Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government’s contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret.
Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a US consumer advocacy organisation which has examined Pfizer’s global vaccine contracts, said: “There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it’s unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis.”
While AstraZeneca agreed to sell its vaccine at cost during the pandemic, Pfizer wanted to secure its profits. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which now has the brand name Comirnaty, will be one of the most lucrative drugs in pharmaceutical history.
The Channel 4 investigation reveals analysis by one biological engineering expert claiming the Pfizer vaccine costs just 76p to manufacture for each shot. It is reportedly being sold for £22 a dose to the UK government.
The estimated manufacturing costs do not include research, distribution and other costs, but Pfizer says its profit margin as a percentage before tax are in the “high-20s”. Pfizer expects to deliver 2.3bn vaccines this year with predicted revenues of $36bn (£26.3bn).
Read Full Article: The Guardian: ‘Wall of secrecy’ in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering
Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer is on Channel 4 at 7.30pm on Friday