The great vaccine robbery: Pharmaceutical corporations charge excessive prices for COVID-19 vaccines while rich countries block faster and cheaper route to global vaccination

Publication language
Date published
29 Jul 2021
Research, reports and studies
Oxfam, Amnesty International

The lifesaving vaccines for COVID-19 - funded largely by the public - has been privatized and monopolised leaving pharmaceutical corporations the power to charge excessive vaccine prices to maximise profit. The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID vaccines.

Pharmaceutical corporations are free to prioritise the most lucrative high-priced contracts with rich countries at the direct expense of protecting more lives in more countries. Despite rising infections and deaths across many developing countries, Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna have allocated more than 90 per cent of their supplies to rich countries. The COVAX scheme and developing country governments cannot possibly compete with the high prices willingly paid by rich countries and so are pushed to the back of the vaccine queue. Less than 1 per cent of people in low income countries have had a vaccine.