Pfizer to offer low-cost drugs and vaccines to poor countries

Pfizer said Wednesday it will provide nearly two dozen products, including the best-selling COVID-19 vaccine and treatment, at not-for-profit prices in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The drugmaker announced the program at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, saying it aimed to improve health equity in 45 low-income countries. Most 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 that treat infectious diseases, some cancers, and rare and inflammatory diseases. Company spokesman Pam Eisele said only a small number of its drugs and vaccines are currently available in the 45 countries.

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New York-based Pfizer only charges production costs and “minimal” distribution costs, Eisele said. It will comply with all sanctions 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 poorer countries. Pfizer has said its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, is already being distributed to poorer counties at a nonprofit rate through the US government, which buys the injections and then distributes them for free.

Comirnaty brought in nearly $37 billion in revenue last year, and analysts expect Paxlovid’s COVID-19 treatment to add nearly $24 billion this year, according to data firm FactSet.

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