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阿斯利康得罪了欧洲

阿斯利康得罪了欧洲

David Meyer 2021年01月27日
近日发生的一连串事件,让外界对阿斯利康的能力产生了质疑。

正当各国争相为本国居民接种新冠疫苗之际,一款由阿斯利康公司和牛津大学联合开发的疫苗也被视为了抗击疫情的关键利器。这不仅仅是由于该疫苗易于运输——与辉瑞/BioNTech和Moderna生产的疫苗相比,这款无需极端低温环境——同时还因为它的成本低廉。

但近日发生的一连串事件,让外界对阿斯利康履行交付承诺的能力产生了质疑。

阿斯利康在1月22日表示,由于生产环节出现问题,今年首季交付的疫苗数量将不足承诺的一半,而此举激怒了欧洲各国的首脑。

而前一日还有消息称,南非向全球最大的疫苗生产商印度血清研究所订购了阿斯利康疫苗,每剂需支付5.25美元。但参考上个月意外泄露的一份清单,南非的购买价不仅是欧洲富裕国家的两倍多,还远远高于阿斯利康在去年11月承诺的3美元上限。

欧洲疫苗供应短缺

阿斯利康在近日爆出的消息,加剧了人们对欧洲短期内疫苗短缺问题的担忧,因为就在前不久,辉瑞/BioNtech也发出了减产预警。

辉瑞的问题在于,它的一家比利时工厂需经改装后才能够提升产量。但阿斯利康对减产原因讳莫如深,仅表示“因为欧洲供应链的一家工厂产量下降,所以初期产量将低于预期”。该公司拒绝指明具体哪间工厂存在问题,也未能说明该问题可能会持续多久。

欧盟尚未授权使用牛津/阿斯利康生产的疫苗——药品监管机构预计将于本周给予审核意见——但已经与阿斯利康签订了一份高达4亿剂的疫苗合同。其中,约8000万剂疫苗本应在今年第一季度交付,但阿斯利康在1月22日通知官员,实际数量将减少60%,仅可以交付3100万剂。

据奥地利媒体报道,该国在本季度仅能够收到60万剂阿斯利康疫苗,而当初承诺的是200万剂。在意大利,首季本应收到800万剂疫苗,但对方只可以交付340万剂。

意大利总理朱塞佩•孔特威胁将起诉阿斯利康和辉瑞/BioNTech,称这“严重违反了合同内容,对意大利和其他欧洲国家造成了巨大损害”。

1月25日,欧盟委员会的主席乌尔苏拉•冯德莱恩与阿斯利康的首席执行官帕斯卡尔•索里奥特进行了电话沟通。主席发言人随后表示,“她已经明确希望阿斯利康能够履行预先采购协议中的安排。”

“她提醒索里奥特,欧盟为前期研发投入了大量资金,就是为了确保在欧洲药品管理局发出有条件上市许可前,该公司可以加快扩大生产。”发言人埃里克•马梅透露。“当然,生产工序复杂的疫苗时可能会遇到问题,但我们希望该公司能够找到解决方案,采用一切可行的弹性做法迅速完成交付。”

1月25日,欧洲理事会的主席查尔斯•米歇尔称“欧盟打算执行与制药公司签署的合同”,还表示“我们不惜采取一切可行的法律手段”。欧洲理事会由欧洲各国元首和欧盟委员会组成。

阿斯利康的发言人通过电邮发表了声明:“随着产量的持续提升,我们将在2月和3月向欧盟提供数千万剂疫苗。”

南非订购的疫苗定价高昂

阿斯利康在去年表示,公司在疫情结束前只会收取成本价。但《金融时报》曾经于2020年10月报道称,该公司保留今年7月前宣称疫情“结束”的权利。

阿斯利康法国分公司于去年11月表示,每剂疫苗仅售3美元,“在尽可能公平的条件下,向尽可能多的人群提供疫苗。”印度血清研究所也表示,根据和比尔及梅琳达•盖茨基金会与全球疫苗免疫联盟(Gavi)达成的协议,会为中低收入国家订购的阿斯利康和Novavax疫苗制定相同的单价上限。

但1月20日有消息称,南非向印度血清研究所订购了150万剂阿斯利康疫苗,而每剂需支付5.25美元。相比之下,欧盟国家只需支付2.18美元。

另据南非本地媒体报道,南非卫生局的副局长安班•皮莱说:“印度血清研究所告知我们采用了分级定价制度,鉴于(南非)属于中高收入国家,所以提出了5.25美元的报价。针对高收入国家享受较低价格的疑问,我们得到的解释是,这些国家投资了(研发过程),因此可以享受折扣价。”

南非政府之所以同意支付相对较高的价格,可能是因为早前未能为本国人民成功争取疫苗而备受压力。这是该国获得的第一批疫苗,将于本月起陆续运抵当地。根据印度血清研究所和非盟达成的一项单独协议,该厂在今年3月会提供更多疫苗——单价不会超过3美元。

但据报道,印度血清研究所的首席执行官阿达尔•普纳瓦拉在两周前表示,“全球没有任何地方”的阿斯利康疫苗售价低于每剂3美元。他驳斥了有关欧盟国家支付金额的报道,称泄露的数字只是总价的一半。

《财富》杂志多次询问印度血清研究所,为何要向南非订购的150万剂阿斯利康收取如此高昂的单价,但对方不予置评,仅表示阿斯利康“能够更好地回答这个问题”。

然而,阿斯利康也拒绝解释究竟哪一方在为印度血清研究所生产的疫苗制定售价,仅表示“阿斯利康已经承诺向尽可能多的国家提供疫苗,并且疫情期间不会盈利。”

1月22日,Global Justice Now组织的负责人尼克•迪尔登发表声明称:“鉴于阿斯利康曾经作出制定价格上限的承诺,我们呼吁该公司解释清楚为何会出现这种高价。”

“该问题的症结在于,重要的药物被掌握在大企业手里,而定价几乎没有透明度可言。”迪尔登补充说,“我们急需将技术和专利交到公众手中,这样才可以共享知识,生产更多疫苗。只有这样,我们才有能力公平、有效地抗击病毒。”(财富中文网)

译者:Emily

正当各国争相为本国居民接种新冠疫苗之际,一款由阿斯利康公司和牛津大学联合开发的疫苗也被视为了抗击疫情的关键利器。这不仅仅是由于该疫苗易于运输——与辉瑞/BioNTech和Moderna生产的疫苗相比,这款无需极端低温环境——同时还因为它的成本低廉。

但近日发生的一连串事件,让外界对阿斯利康履行交付承诺的能力产生了质疑。

阿斯利康在1月22日表示,由于生产环节出现问题,今年首季交付的疫苗数量将不足承诺的一半,而此举激怒了欧洲各国的首脑。

而前一日还有消息称,南非向全球最大的疫苗生产商印度血清研究所订购了阿斯利康疫苗,每剂需支付5.25美元。但参考上个月意外泄露的一份清单,南非的购买价不仅是欧洲富裕国家的两倍多,还远远高于阿斯利康在去年11月承诺的3美元上限。

欧洲疫苗供应短缺

阿斯利康在近日爆出的消息,加剧了人们对欧洲短期内疫苗短缺问题的担忧,因为就在前不久,辉瑞/BioNtech也发出了减产预警。

辉瑞的问题在于,它的一家比利时工厂需经改装后才能够提升产量。但阿斯利康对减产原因讳莫如深,仅表示“因为欧洲供应链的一家工厂产量下降,所以初期产量将低于预期”。该公司拒绝指明具体哪间工厂存在问题,也未能说明该问题可能会持续多久。

欧盟尚未授权使用牛津/阿斯利康生产的疫苗——药品监管机构预计将于本周给予审核意见——但已经与阿斯利康签订了一份高达4亿剂的疫苗合同。其中,约8000万剂疫苗本应在今年第一季度交付,但阿斯利康在1月22日通知官员,实际数量将减少60%,仅可以交付3100万剂。

据奥地利媒体报道,该国在本季度仅能够收到60万剂阿斯利康疫苗,而当初承诺的是200万剂。在意大利,首季本应收到800万剂疫苗,但对方只可以交付340万剂。

意大利总理朱塞佩•孔特威胁将起诉阿斯利康和辉瑞/BioNTech,称这“严重违反了合同内容,对意大利和其他欧洲国家造成了巨大损害”。

1月25日,欧盟委员会的主席乌尔苏拉•冯德莱恩与阿斯利康的首席执行官帕斯卡尔•索里奥特进行了电话沟通。主席发言人随后表示,“她已经明确希望阿斯利康能够履行预先采购协议中的安排。”

“她提醒索里奥特,欧盟为前期研发投入了大量资金,就是为了确保在欧洲药品管理局发出有条件上市许可前,该公司可以加快扩大生产。”发言人埃里克•马梅透露。“当然,生产工序复杂的疫苗时可能会遇到问题,但我们希望该公司能够找到解决方案,采用一切可行的弹性做法迅速完成交付。”

1月25日,欧洲理事会的主席查尔斯•米歇尔称“欧盟打算执行与制药公司签署的合同”,还表示“我们不惜采取一切可行的法律手段”。欧洲理事会由欧洲各国元首和欧盟委员会组成。

阿斯利康的发言人通过电邮发表了声明:“随着产量的持续提升,我们将在2月和3月向欧盟提供数千万剂疫苗。”

南非订购的疫苗定价高昂

阿斯利康在去年表示,公司在疫情结束前只会收取成本价。但《金融时报》曾经于2020年10月报道称,该公司保留今年7月前宣称疫情“结束”的权利。

阿斯利康法国分公司于去年11月表示,每剂疫苗仅售3美元,“在尽可能公平的条件下,向尽可能多的人群提供疫苗。”印度血清研究所也表示,根据和比尔及梅琳达•盖茨基金会与全球疫苗免疫联盟(Gavi)达成的协议,会为中低收入国家订购的阿斯利康和Novavax疫苗制定相同的单价上限。

但1月20日有消息称,南非向印度血清研究所订购了150万剂阿斯利康疫苗,而每剂需支付5.25美元。相比之下,欧盟国家只需支付2.18美元。

另据南非本地媒体报道,南非卫生局的副局长安班•皮莱说:“印度血清研究所告知我们采用了分级定价制度,鉴于(南非)属于中高收入国家,所以提出了5.25美元的报价。针对高收入国家享受较低价格的疑问,我们得到的解释是,这些国家投资了(研发过程),因此可以享受折扣价。”

南非政府之所以同意支付相对较高的价格,可能是因为早前未能为本国人民成功争取疫苗而备受压力。这是该国获得的第一批疫苗,将于本月起陆续运抵当地。根据印度血清研究所和非盟达成的一项单独协议,该厂在今年3月会提供更多疫苗——单价不会超过3美元。

但据报道,印度血清研究所的首席执行官阿达尔•普纳瓦拉在两周前表示,“全球没有任何地方”的阿斯利康疫苗售价低于每剂3美元。他驳斥了有关欧盟国家支付金额的报道,称泄露的数字只是总价的一半。

《财富》杂志多次询问印度血清研究所,为何要向南非订购的150万剂阿斯利康收取如此高昂的单价,但对方不予置评,仅表示阿斯利康“能够更好地回答这个问题”。

然而,阿斯利康也拒绝解释究竟哪一方在为印度血清研究所生产的疫苗制定售价,仅表示“阿斯利康已经承诺向尽可能多的国家提供疫苗,并且疫情期间不会盈利。”

1月22日,Global Justice Now组织的负责人尼克•迪尔登发表声明称:“鉴于阿斯利康曾经作出制定价格上限的承诺,我们呼吁该公司解释清楚为何会出现这种高价。”

“该问题的症结在于,重要的药物被掌握在大企业手里,而定价几乎没有透明度可言。”迪尔登补充说,“我们急需将技术和专利交到公众手中,这样才可以共享知识,生产更多疫苗。只有这样,我们才有能力公平、有效地抗击病毒。”(财富中文网)

译者:Emily

As countries scramble to inoculate their populations against COVID-19, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has been seen as a crucial element of that program. That's not only because of its relative ease of deployment—unlike the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, it doesn't require extreme cooling—but also because of its low cost.

However, the events of recent days have cast doubt on AstraZeneca's ability to deliver what it's promised.

Most recently, AstraZeneca enraged European leaders by saying Friday that a manufacturing glitch meant it would be delivering less than half the doses it had promised during the first quarter of the year.

A day before, it emerged that South Africa will be paying $5.25 per dose for AstraZeneca vaccine as produced by the world's largest vaccine-maker, the Serum Institute of India. That's more than twice as much as far-richer European countries are paying, per a list that was accidentally leaked last month, and considerably more than the $3 price cap AstraZeneca promised in November 2020.

European shortage

AstraZeneca's January 22 surprise added to existing concerns about Europe's short-term vaccine supply, coming as it did soon after Pfizer and BioNtech also warned of reduced output.

In that case, the issue lay in the need to retool a Pfizer plant in Belgium, so it could produce more doses. However, AstraZeneca is being more opaque about its problems, saying only that "initial volumes will be lower than originally anticipated due to reduced yields at a manufacturing site within our European supply chain." The company refused to specify which site is proving problematic, and how ongoing the problem might be.

The European Union has not yet authorized the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine—its drug regulator is expected to give a crucial opinion on that this week—but it has a contract with AstraZeneca to provide up to 400 million doses. Around 80 million of those were supposed to arrive in the first quarter of this year, but AstraZeneca told officials on January 22 that the actual volume would be 60% lower, meaning just 31 million doses.

According to Austrian media reports, only 600,000 of a promised 2 million AstraZeneca doses will make it to the country this quarter. In Italy, 8 million doses were due this quarter, but only 3.4 million will arrive.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has threatened to sue both AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech over what he called "serious contractual violations, which cause enormous damage to Italy and other European countries."

On January 25, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had a phone call with AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot and, her spokesman subsequently said, "she made it clear she expects AstraZeneca to deliver on the contractual arrangements foreseen in the advanced purchasing agreement."

"She reminded Mr. Soriot that the EU has invested significant amounts in the company upfront precisely to ensure production is ramped up even before the conditional market authorization is delivered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)," said the spokesman, Eric Mamer. "Of course, production issues can appear with a complex vaccine but we expect the company to find solutions and to exploit all possible flexibilities to deliver swiftly."

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council—the body that comprises the leaders of EU countries and the Commission—said on January 25 that "the EU intends to enforce the contracts signed by the pharmaceutical industry" and "we can use all the legal means at our disposal for this."

"We will be supplying tens of millions of doses in February and March to the European Union, as we continue to ramp up production volumes," said an AstraZeneca spokesperson in an emailed statement.

South African pricing

AstraZeneca said last year that it would only charge cost price for its doses until the pandemic is over—though as the Financial Times reported in October 2020, it retains the right to declare the pandemic "over" by July this year.

In November, AstraZeneca France said it would charge only $3 per dose, "in order to be able to provide this vaccine to the widest possible population, under the most equitable conditions of access possible." The Serum Institute of India (SII) also announced the same per-dose price cap for the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines that it would produce for low and middle-income countries, under an arrangement involving the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

However, on January 20 it emerged that South Africa will be paying $5.25 a dose for the Serum Institute's AstraZeneca shots, in an order for 1.5 million doses. By way of comparison, EU countries are paying just $2.18 a dose.

"We were advised that SII has applied a tiered pricing system, and given that [South Africa] is an upper-middle-income country, their price is $5.25," said Anban Pillay, the deputy head of South Africa's health department, according to local media. "The explanation we were given for why other high-income countries have a lower price is that they have invested in [research and development], hence the discount on the price."

It may be that South Africa's government agreed to pay this relatively high price because it was under pressure over its early failure to secure vaccines for its populace. The vaccines, the first to make it to the country, should start arriving this month. In March, more SII-made doses should become available under a separate arrangement between the Indian manufacturer and the African Union—these will supposedly enjoy the $3 price cap.

However, Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla reportedly said at two weeks ago that the AstraZeneca vaccine was being sold for under $3 per dose "nowhere on the planet." He dismissed reports of the amounts EU countries are paying, claiming that the leaked figures only account for half the price.

Fortune has repeatedly asked the Serum Institute why it is charging South Africa so much for its 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses, but the manufacturer has refused to comment, instead saying that AstraZeneca is "in a better position to answer the query."

But AstraZeneca has also refused to explain who sets the pricing for the SII-made doses, saying only that "AstraZeneca has committed to making the vaccine available to as many countries as possible, and at no profit during the pandemic period."

"We are calling on AstraZeneca to explain how this pricing has happened, given their promise to cap charges," said Nick Dearden, the director of campaign group Global Justice Now, in a January 22 statement.

"This is the problem when you have essential medicines in the hands of big business, with almost no transparency as to pricing," Dearden added. "We urgently need technology and patents placed in public hands, so we can share this knowledge and produce more vaccines now. Our ability to defeat this virus fairly and effectively depends upon it."

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