Digital desk: Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, stated on Wednesday that it will donate its patented pharmaceuticals to the world's poorest countries as part of a new programme revealed at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Pfizer presently possesses 23 patents on infectious diseases, cancer, inflammation, uncommon disorders, and women's health, including Comirnaty and Paxlovid, as well as its covid vaccination and oral therapy.
"This transformational commitment will provide almost 1.2 billion individuals in the United States and the European Union with access to Pfizer-patented medicines and vaccines," Angela Hwang, group head of the Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group, told AFP.
Five nations have agreed to join: Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda, with a total of 40 countries (27 low-income and 18 lower-middle-income) able to negotiate bilateral agreements.
Developing countries bear 70% of the world's disease burden but only receive 15% of global health investment, resulting in disastrous outcomes.
One child in every 13 in Sub-Saharan Africa dies before their fifth birthday, compared to one in every 199 in high-income countries.
Cancer-related mortality is also much greater in low- and middle-income nations, resulting in more deaths in Africa each year than malaria.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of limited access to new drugs.
Essential medicines and vaccines typically take four to seven years longer to reach the poorest countries, and supply chain issues and poorly resourced health systems make it difficult for patients to receive them once approved.