US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced on Tuesday that it would sell nearly 500 of its vaccines and medicines at cost to the world’s poorest countries, expanding a previous commitment to reduce global health inequalities.
In May 2022, the company said in an initiative announced at the Davos Economic Forum that it would provide 45 poor countries – the equivalent of 1.2 billion people – with 23 of its vaccines and patented medicines available in the US and the EU.
Pfizer will now expand its offering under the agreement to include off-patent products, increasing the total number from 23 to about 500, the company said in a statement. These are all products for which Pfizer has global rights, it said.
Selling at cost means only manufacturing costs and transport expenses will be charged in the countries concerned.
Among the drugs and vaccines involved are products that treat or prevent many of the greatest infectious and non-communicable disease threats facing low-income countries today, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy, the company said.
As Pfizer launches more drugs and vaccines, these will also be included in the agreement, it added.