In Europe, outrage is rising against the behind-the-scenes contracts of the EU leadership with vaccine manufacturers. It turned out that in the history of the “pandemic”, profit is in the first place
For several months, various nongovernmental organizations, parliamentarians and journalists have been trying to obtain information about negotiations between the European Commission and vaccine manufacturing corporations. “And hit the wall!” – writes the French Le Monde.
“It looks like the European Union’s access to documents legislation did not apply to the COVID vaccine negotiations!” – quoted by the newspaper Olivier Hödemann, Coordinator of the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), a non-governmental organization that studies “the impact of corporate lobbying on EU policy-making”.
The NGO lodged a complaint with European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, who on 22 January launched an investigation into “failure to comply with an obligation to properly handle requests for public access to documents”.
The efforts have borne some fruit. On January 19, a contract with the German laboratory producing the Curevac vaccine was unveiled. And ten days later, the deals of the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca were declassified.
However, the main points of these contracts were painted over in the texts of documents, said the chairman of the European Parliament committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) Pascal Kanfen.
In October 2020, he asked the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakid, to make public “the four elements of every contract entered into with the pharmaceutical industry: cost structure and price, place of production, intellectual property regime, liability regime”.
We want these provisions to be known to everyone, Kanfen said.
Shaded paragraphs of the Astra-Zeneca contract
Le Monde notes that the European Commission has not reacted in any way to what is obvious to all unbiased experts: “The scientific maturity of vaccines was not a decisive factor in the European pre-procurement strategy [вакцин]; other criteria, in particular economic ones, could have priority. “
Thus, the American companies Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson, during negotiations with the European Commission, “strongly demanded that they be released from liability in cases of negative consequences of vaccination,” said a high-ranking member of the European Commission.
The price of vaccines purchased by the European Union remains classified.
“Although the contracts with Curevac, Sanofi / GSK and AstraZeneca were published by the European Commission, the paragraphs regarding the price of one dose were carefully hidden. Only a computer error allowed several media outlets … to gain access to confidential information contained in the contract with AstraZeneca, ”the newspaper writes.
The New York Times joined in criticizing Big Pharma’s behind-the-scenes contracts: “When members of the European Parliament sat down to read the first public contract for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines, they noticed that something was missing … Price per dose? Painted. Deployment schedule? Painted. Advance amount? Painted. And this contract between the German pharmaceutical company CureVac and the European Union is considered one of the most transparent in the world. “
The New York Times learned that the US government has funded the development and production of vaccines for all American pharmaceutical companies and, in particular, fully paid for the development of Moderna and Novavax vaccines. Although these vaccines are funded by American taxpayers, “the pharmaceutical companies own the patents entirely.” This means that they “can decide how and where to produce vaccines and how much they will cost.”
Several countries, initiated by India and South Africa, have petitioned WHO to deny intellectual property rights to pharmaceutical corporations for coronavirus vaccines so that other manufacturers can also start producing these vaccines. However, the idea is almost doomed to failure due to “resistance from the US and Europe, where drug manufacturers say that patents and the profits from them are a source of innovation.”
This is what needs to be recorded: in the history of the “pandemic”, profits for Big Pharma corporations come first. Medical considerations, human health have nothing to do with it.
The secret of the price of contracts is guarded in every possible way. “Some pharmaceutical companies have included clauses in their supply contracts that allow them to suspend shipments if countries disclose a price,” writes The News York Times.
In mid-February 2021, under public pressure, the EU leadership nevertheless announced its contracts with vaccine manufacturers.
“They show how the European authorities have caved in to the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. Three contracts were in the public domain, writes the French L’Humanite. – The most important parts of the text were hidden under the pretext of protecting the interests of the monopoly laboratories. The articles related to the privatization of income and the socialization of losses were deleted from the published contracts. However, it is already clear from what is already available: the responsibility for the side effects of vaccines lies with the EU member states. “
Of the eight contracts for the purchase of vaccines signed by the European Union with Big Pharma companies, only three are officially available to the public: СureVac, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK. Brussels promises to soon introduce the fourth, concluded with the American group Johnson & Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, manufacturers of the two main and most expensive vaccines by comparison, continue to refuse to publish any information about their agreements with the European Union.
L’Humanite has launched its own investigation into shadow contracts. One of the main persons involved in these secret deals – Richard Bergström, former head of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), “Europe’s premier pharmaceutical lobby,” which includes some of the industry’s largest companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.
“Bergström was present at all stages of the negotiations. In the journals of official meetings of European Commissioners and their cabinet members … since spring 2020, its representatives have met 34 times in Brussels with top-level leaders: 15 times with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and 8 times with European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. “
The British The Guardian reported on the dubious role of EFPIA and Bergström personally in the vaccination situation in Europe. Three years ago, according to the publication, the European Union appealed to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, part of the public-private partnership Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), with a proposal to start developing vaccines against pathogenic organisms, including coronaviruses, in order to have time to create them before the start of the epidemic. outbreaks. The IMI board, consisting of European Commission officials and EFPIA representatives, rejected this initiative.
Currently, 62 MEPs are circulating a petition demanding additional information on all issues related to vaccination. However, the European Union, which depends on Big Pharma corporations, is unlikely to prevail over the global pharmaceutical monster. And are the interests of the European bureaucracy and the pharmaceutical industry monopolists so far from each other?