the NGO Oxfam pleads for the lifting of patents

While the idea of ​​a temporary suspension of patents on vaccines against Covid-19 continues to divide member countries of the World Trade Organization, pharmaceutical groups would take advantage of their monopolies to inflate their selling prices disproportionately. This is the finding drawn up by the British NGO Oxfam – in partnership with the People’s Vaccine Alliance coalition, of which it is a member – in a report published Thursday, July 29.

According to the organization’s calculations, companies Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have billed governments “Up to $ 41 billion more than the estimated cost of producing anti-Covid vaccines.” Based on a study carried out by the American think-tank Public Citizen and engineers from Imperial College London, the NGO estimates the production cost of these messenger RNA vaccines between $ 1.18 and $ 2.85 per dose. (1 to 2.4 euros) while the average price invoiced to the States would amount to 16.25 dollars.

“At the bottom of the queue”

“For France, this additional cost represents 4.6 billion euros, paid by taxpayers”, explains Nicolas Vercken, Campaigns and Advocacy Director of Oxfam France. However, these production cost estimates do not take into account either those of research and development, or those of distribution carried out by the pharmaceutical groups. The NGO considers that this situation has led rich countries to monopolize most of the vaccines, to the detriment of less well-off countries, relegated “At the bottom of the queuee lack of means.

However, these production cost estimates do not take into account those of research and development, or those of distribution.

It calls in particular for the lifting of intellectual property and the sharing of know-how in order to rapidly increase global production capacities and ” to break “ vaccine prices. Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have repeatedly defended themselves against such criticism in recent months, arguing that they are selling their vaccines at cost price to low-income countries. This report, however, comes as Pfizer unveiled its financial results for the first half of the year on Wednesday, July 28.

Sales of the Comirnaty vaccine against Covid-19 brought in $ 11.3 billion between January and June to the American giant, which raised the sales forecast for its vaccine for the year 2021 from 26 billion to 33.5 billion dollars. The arrival of new vaccines by the end of the year, including those from Sanofi, Novavax, and Valneva, could increase competition in the market.