Health

Pfizer says providing cheap medicine to poor countries


Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said it will sell the drug on a “non-profit” basis to low-income countries around the world.

The statement made at the World Economic Forum on May 25 in Davos, Switzerland, is part of the initiative “For a Healthier World”. This action aims to provide all kinds of high-quality medicines and vaccines to 1.2 billion people in 45 low-income countries.

The airline will still charge production and shipping costs, but to a minimum. Thus, countries will buy drugs at a cheaper price. Pfizer said the distribution plan includes 23 fully-owned, patented drugs and vaccines to treat infectious diseases, certain cancers and rare inflammatory diseases.

Some typical drugs on the list are Paxlovid (to treat Covid-19), Ibrance (to treat breast cancer), the pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13, the rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz and the Xalkori cancer treatments. and Inlyta.

“As we know during the global rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine, availability is only the first step to helping patients receive medical care. We will work closely with health leaders. globally to make improvements in diagnostics, education, infrastructure, storage and more,” said Albert Bourla, President and CEO of Pfizer.

A woman cares for her sick son at Kamakwie hospital, Sierra Leone. Image:NY Times

According to AFP, developing countries account for 70% of the world’s disease burden, yet receive only 15% of global health spending, leading to dire consequences.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in 13 children dies before the age of five, compared with one in 199 in developed countries. Cancer-related mortality is also much higher in low-income countries, while access to the latest medicines is limited.

Poor countries often have to wait four to seven years for essential vaccines. However, problems with medical supplies and resources make it difficult for them to reach patients after importation.

Thuc Linh

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