Public Citizen has published a report that outlines how pharma giant Pfizer created secret contracts and use its monopoly power to manipulate governments into buying and dispensing its Covid-19 vaccines.
As one of the top vaccine producers, Pfizer used its position of power to “silence governments, throttle supply, shift risk, and maximise profits,” according to Public Citizen.
Report author Zain Rizvi, law and policy researcher at Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program, said in a statement: “Behind closed doors, Pfizer wields its power to extract a series of concerning concessions from governments. The global community cannot allow pharmaceutical corporations to keep calling the shots.”
Back in February, it was reported that Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech were “bullying” Latin American governments during contract negotiations about the vaccines. Pfizer targeted Albania, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, the European Commission and Peru with predatory contracts.
In some cases, Pfizer asked some of these countries to put up their sovereign assets as a guarantee against the cost of any future legal cases. In other words, it was already known in advance that the vaccines were going to cause harm, thus leading to lawsuits, and Pfizer wanted to protect itself whilst raking in profits.
Rizvi tweeted: “We dug into Pfizer’s vaccine contracts. They offer a rare glimpse into the power one corporation has gained to silence govts, throttle supply and shift risk in the worst public health crisis in a century. Govts must push back to ensure global access.”
According to the report, Pfizer reserves the right to silence governments, controls donations, secured an “IP waiver” for itself, goes after state assets, call the shots on key decisions and has private arbitrators decide disputes in secret. All of which, of course, has been hidden from public view.
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