“This is the problem when you have essential medicines in the hands of big business, with almost no transparency as to pricing.”
“The unfair patent system is now one the biggest obstacles to defeating this virus.”
That was the core critique from Nick Dearden, executive director of the U.K.-based advocacy group Global Justice Now, on Friday morning in response to news this week that South Africa is paying more than double for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine compared to most countries in Europe.
According to a report by The Guardian, a Belgian minister leaked information revealing that European Union members are paying €1.78 ($2.16) per dose for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Meanwhile, even as the pharmaceutical giant has said it would cap the price at €2.50 (approx. $3) per dose, South Africa’s deputy director general of health Anban Pillay confirmed to the newspaper that it was quoted a price of $5.25 per dose. Continue reading