Pfizer has been accused of ‘bullying’ Latin American governments in COVID-19 vaccine negotiations and has asked some countries to put up sovereign assets as a guarantee.
“Some liability protection is warranted, but certainly not for fraud, gross negligence, mismanagement, failure to follow good manufacturing practices,” said Gostin. “Companies have no right to ask for indemnity for these things.”
(Pfizer’s partner BioNTech was given $445 million by the German government to develop a vaccine and the US government agreed a deal in July to pre-order 100m doses for nearly $2 billion, before the vaccine had even entered phase three trials. Pfizer expects to make sales of $15 billion worth of vaccines in 2021.)
“We offered to pay for millions of doses in advance, we accepted this international insurance, but the last request was unusual: Pfizer demanded that the sovereign assets of Argentina also be part of the legal support,” the official said. “It was an extreme demand that I had only heard when the foreign debt had to be negotiated, but both in that case and in this one, we rejected it immediately.”
These are some instances that clearly show the class interests involved and what kind of economic and political power the ruling class weilds.