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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pharma stakeholders speak out against potential European Union restrictions on vaccines supply

Health Industry Hub | February 1, 2021 |

Pharma News: Key stakeholders including Medicines Australia, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Pfizer are concerned by the reports of proposals from Europe that could impact the global supply chains of COVID-19 vaccines.

In a statement, Medicines Australia said “Maintaining global supply chains is a top priority for the medicines industry and is key to delivering vaccines to protect citizens against COVID-19. The making of a vaccine requires many dozens of ingredients and manufacturing components which come from multiple sources around the world.

“Covid-19 vaccines are needed by everyone to get us back to a ‘new normal’ (locally in Australia and globally). We recognise this is a complex and vast undertaking, so it is critical for us to work together to manage the vaccine roll-out in Australia and around the world.

“To achieve this, it is imperative that no restrictions are applied that would disrupt the manufacturing and delivery of vaccines.

“We have reached out to the Federal Government regarding Australia’s supply being on track and commencement of the vaccination program from late February, including acknowledgement of Australia’s onshore manufacturing capability. We will continue to work with the Government to support Australia’s supply chains of medicines and vaccines.”

Pfizer’s CEO Dr Albert Bourla told the World Economic Forum on Friday that European leaders need to “maintain their patience and calmness. This crisis will create tensions and as a result…decisions that are not sound might be forced upon politicians,” he said.

“If a war starts where one will try to ban either the final product or the supplies from free trade, that would create a situation that is not good for anyone,” Dr Bourla added.

The biopharmaceutical global industry, represented by the IFPMA with Thomas Cueni as Director General, said “Global supply chains are key to delivering vaccines to protect citizens against COVID-19. The making of a vaccine requires many dozens of ingredients and manufacturing components which come from around the world.

“It is vital that any measures proposed by the European Commission and the Member States do not restrict, hold back, or have other negative impacts on exports of vaccines or the import of key vaccine manufacturing supplies. Risking retaliatory measures from other regions at this crucial moment in the fight against COVID-19 is not in anyone’s best interest.

“We are deeply concerned by European discussions that could be disruptive of our global efforts to manufacture and deliver billions of vaccines in record time. This is a time for cool heads and finding solutions. Threatening export restrictions is short sighted and could risk undermining the supply of vaccines in Europe and around the world,” he concluded.


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