Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reportedly resorted to high-level bullying during negotiations with Latin American countries for the supply of its Covid-19 vaccine. Nations like Argentina and Brazil were asked to put up sovereign assets including federal bank reserves along with military bases as a form of collateral for prospective legal costs in the future.
Argentine government officials along with that of another unnamed country mentioned that Pfizer demanded protection from liability from civil claims of citizens who suffer adverse events after vaccination and also from cases relating to the pharma firm’s own malice, fraud and negligence.
Similar demands were also reportedly made to the Brazilian government as per the documents from their health ministry. Eventually, neither Argentina nor Brazil signed a vaccine supply deal with Pfizer, Pharmaceutical Technology reports.
Actually, vaccine manufacturers have been provided indemnity by multiple countries amidst the global pandemic. However, the aforementioned nations believed that Pfizer’s insistence exceeded that of other companies.
“Pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t be using their power to limit life-saving vaccines in low and middle-income countries. [This] seems to be exactly what they’re doing,” World Health Organization (WHO) Center on National and Global Health Law director Professor Lawrence Gostin was quoted as saying by the Bureau.
Gostin added, "Some liability protection is warranted, but certainly not for fraud, gross negligence, mismanagement, failure to follow good manufacturing practices. Companies have no right to ask for indemnity for these things."
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