Pfizer made nearly £ 2bn in cash-strapped NHS profits for its Covid vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was a key part of the UK’s jab rollout last winter, which helped the country break out of lockdown rules

Covid vaccine dose administered
UK booster rollout now heavily involves Pfizer vaccine

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer made nearly £ 2bn in profit from lack of money NHS for its Covid vaccine.

The huge mark-up is six times the amount the government spent on its pay raise for exhausted nurses.

Activists last night called for rethinking the rules that allow giants like Pfizer to siphon money from a publicly funded vaccine.

The NHS paid Pfizer £ 2.57 billion for 135 million doses of its Covid vaccine, with a mark-up of £ 1.9 billion above the cost of production.

The jab only cost £ 4.94 to produce – but the taxpayer was charged £ 18 per dose for the first 100million jabs and £ 22 per dose for the next 35million.

A vial of the Pfizer Covid vaccine sold to the NHS for a significant increase


AFP via Getty Images)

The staggering profit margin is more than six times the £ 302million ministers allowed the NHS England to spend on nurses’ pay increases.

The Global Justice Now campaign group called on the government to lower drug prices by waiving intellectual property rules on coronavirus vaccines and treatments for the remainder of the pandemic.

The rules allow Pfizer to patent the vaccine and hold the exclusive rights to produce it. This means that they can dominate the markets, setting prices without any competition.

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Pharmaceutical activist Tim Bierley said: “Like all of our Covid-19 vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was developed with huge public funding.

“It should be ours, not used to rip off the NHS.

“Throughout this pandemic, the government’s priorities have been wrong. Instead of valuing the key workers who have helped us through this crisis or ensuring that everyone has access to life-saving vaccines and treatments, they have helped big companies profit from a crisis.

A Covid vaccination center in north London


Dinendra Haria / LNP)

“At the World Trade Organization next month, the government has a choice to make. They can side with our NHS and demand the right to health care for all, or they can side with Pfizer and other big business profiteers who just want to profit from public money. “

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received £ 2.5 billion in public funding, mainly from the German and US governments. But the company has been allowed to demand huge profits from healthcare systems around the world.

Pfizer says it will withdraw $ 36 billion this year from sales of Covid vaccines.

AstraZeneca has partnered with the University of Oxford to sell Covid vaccines at cost for the duration of the pandemic. But this month, he announced he was going to start signing for-profit deals.

More than 130 countries, including the United States, support an intellectual property rights waiver, which was first proposed by India and South Africa last October.

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