Pfizer said all profits from Russia would go to “humanitarian support” for Ukraine, with future clinical trials now off the table
While hundreds of companies are able to protest the war and retract their economic input from Russia, companies that provide life-saving medicines are in a difficult predicament.
Pfizer will continue to import drugs into Russia
Pfizer have decided to preserve access to medicines for Russian patients, while using their profits from Russia to sponsor the resistance in Ukraine.
Ongoing clinical trials will no longer ask for new participants.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, speaking to Yahoo Finance, said: “Our medicines are medicines, not like [an] iPhone Pro, for example, or the new Mac.”
The company further added that a voluntary pause in drugs would lead to “significant patient suffering” and potential fatality, with elderly people and children becoming extra-vulnerable to conditions like cancer and cardiovascular issues.
Clinical trials will continue, but no new participants
The company will continue clinical trials that are already happening, but look for help from the US Food and Drug Administration to move these trials to sites outside of Russia. Some of these ongoing studies include an immense trial looking at the use of Enzalutamide in patients with Prostrate Cancer, located across 254 sites in 32 countries.
Another Pfizer study, looking at how Sasanlimab might work on non-small-cell Lung Cancer, is due to report final results in 2025 – with Phase Two of trial announced as recently as February, 2022. The Sasanlimab study is collecting results in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation, with China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan also involved.
Pfizer, in a statement released today (14 March), said: “These decisions align with our patient-first values and ensure that every dollar of profit derived from Russia will strengthen Ukraine and its people as they continue to valiantly defend their nation and freedom from this unprovoked and unjustified attack.”
Pfizer and BioNTech shipping container project continues
The company is also working with BioNTech to deliver mobile factories to locations that have little access to mRNA COVID vaccines. The project – happening separately to the WHO’s attempt to conduct a technology transfer to these regions – faces a lot of doubt, as activists continue to point out how ongoing intellectual property laws prevent access to vaccines.
These shipping containers, specially designed to produce vaccines, are expected to begin manufacturing for host countries in late 2023.
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