Pfizer, on vaccine redistribution: "To continue investigating, pharmaceutical companies need income"


The medical director of Pfizer, Juan Álvarez, has defended the profitability of companies that produce vaccines against the coronavirus when asked how solutions against the pandemic could be transferred globally. He did it this Monday during a session of Complutense Meetings entitled 'New challenges to COVID-19. Anticipating the future. '

"This has always been highly debated and here I may have the chance to lose as a representative of a multinational and American company, in addition. We are not, according to which sectors, very well seen. Companies need the income to continue researching, to continue working", Álvarez has indicated, who also advocates that rapid international movement solutions be imposed to stop the spread of new strains "as soon as there is certain evidence", as has happened with the new omicron strain. The European Union has decided to suspend all flights from southern Africa and countries such as Morocco or Israel have completely closed their borders.

"I believe that, in this case, BioNTech had our cooperation to develop the drugs and we should have these resources [la financiación] to do this research. We have been lucky with the vaccine, "he assured, since investigations are not always successful.

On the other hand, Álvarez explained in the same answer, with this vaccine the challenge was not only to produce it, but to distribute it. Distribution has been another of the great challenges for your company. "Now the conditions are better and it can be stored in practically any freezer," he assured, so it could be ready "to distribute in other countries."

Pfizer is also working on an antiviral against the coronavirus of which the manufacturing rights have been transferred to developing countries. "As far as possible, we try to provide equitable access to all countries," he assured. Associations for universal access to medicines criticized that Pfizer's voluntary license agreement has significant restrictionsAmong them, countries with a large generic production capacity are excluded.

Álvarez has assured that transferring solutions to the whole world is sometimes not so easy because there are also people who refuse to be vaccinated. "We are seeing in Europe that the vaccination rates are not the same in countries that, in theory, are the most economically and culturally developed. This also greatly influences developing countries. Many times, not in the case of malaria. , people do not want to use them for fear that they will be poisoned, "he exemplified. "There are many factors and not just production."

During the same session, María Tarragona, from the Spanish pharmaceutical company Hipra, also participated, saying that what is expected is that her vaccine will be on the market in the first half of 2022. That there are many vaccines available is the thesis that Juan has maintained García Arriaza, from the National Center for Biotechnology of the CSIC, to globalize the solution against the pandemic.

Finally, the professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UCM José Manuel Bautista has broken down more issues that complicate vaccination in Africa, such as the shortage of roads to distribute doses as well as the numerous languages ​​to keep records. "It is not enough to bring vaccines to Africa. There are huge rural areas, there are bad roads," said Bautista. "It is going to be necessary to create a network to vaccinate," he concluded.

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