AstraZeneca vaccine document shows limit of no-profit pledge

AstraZeneca, which has promised not to profit from its COVID-19 vaccine "during the pandemic," has the right to declare an end to the pandemic as soon as July 2021, Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between AstraZeneca and a Brazilian manufacturer defines the "pandemic period" as ending on July 1 2021, which could be extended if "AstraZeneca acting in good faith considers that the SARS-COV-2 pandemic is not over," the document states.

The MoU outlines the conditions of a deal signed in July between the drugmaker and Fiocruz, a Brazilian public health institution, to produce at least 100 million vaccine doses, worth more than $300 million.

"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," the company said, adding that "we continue to operate in that public spirit and we will seek expert guidance, including from global organisations, as to when we can say that the pandemic is behind us."

Co-developer Oxford University said "the terms of our agreement are confidential but uphold Oxford's commitment to fair and equitable access to the vaccine for the duration of the pandemic should it prove to be effective in our global Phase III clinical trials."

October 7th, 2020

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