In a report the Financial Times has stated citing a memo, AstraZeneca could start profiting from its COVID-19 vaccine as early as July 2021; the British drugmaker can thus essentially declare when the global pandemic can essentially end.
London listed AstraZeneca had previously said, it would not profit from its vaccine “during the pandemic”. The FT’s report attributes the development to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed earlier this year between Brazilian public health organization, Fiocruz and AstraZeneca.
The drugmaker developed the vaccine with Oxford University and has signed multiple supply-and-manufacture contracts for more than 3 billion doses globally, the details of which however have not been made available.
According to FT’s report, the “Pandemic Period” could potentially be further extended beyond July 1, 2021, but only if Cambridge, England-based AstraZeneca “acting in good faith considers that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not over.”
“From the outset, AstraZeneca’s approach has been to treat the development of the vaccine as a response to a global public health emergency, not a commercial opportunity,” said the drugmaker on Thursday.
The British drugmaker has created multiple supply chains to ensure that access to its vaccine is timely, broad and equitable for high- and low-income countries alike, “with capacity currently in excess of three billion doses.”
“We continue to operate in that public spirit and we will seek expert guidance, including from global organizations, as to when we can say that the pandemic is behind us,” said AstraZeneca.
The pricing and supply of experimental COVID-19 vaccines have seen wide ranging debates, with richer countries pumping billions of dollars into finding a cure.
Incidentally, AstraZeneca has been granted protection from future liability claims.