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Pfizer donates $5m in Russian profits to humanitarian causes amid war in Ukraine

The donation will go to eight global and local NGOs to support humanitarian relief and response efforts

Albert Bourla

Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla announced that the company will be “making good” on its promise to donate the equivalent of all profits from Russian sales to causes that provide direct humanitarian support to Ukraine, with a first down payment of $5m.

The donation will go to eight global and local NGOs to support humanitarian relief and response efforts, including food security and support services, education for children and other pressing needs of the people of Ukraine.

Pfizer is joined with more than two dozen pharma companies with European operations who have pledged support for Ukraine, including AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis. The commitments include cash and drug donations plus additional support for local employees.

In a statement to colleagues, Bourla wrote how the company had to take a “novel approach” in responding to the crisis, due to the biopharma sector having a historical exemption from economic sanctions and an obligation to deliver life-saving vaccines and medicines regardless of circumstances.

Pfizer concluded that a voluntary pause in the flow of its medicines to Russia, including cancer or cardiovascular therapies, would cause significant patient suffering and potential loss of life, particularly among children and elderly people.

However, the company made the decision to no longer initiate new clinical trials in Russia, stop recruiting new patients in ongoing clinical trials and cease all planned investments with local supplies intended to build manufacturing capacity in the country.

Bourla said: "We will continue to divert these profits to the Ukrainian people until peace is achieved. Until that time, we also stand firm in our decision to cease all our clinical trials in Russia and to halt all investments in local manufacturing… Rather than use this exception as an excuse to do nothing more than business as usual, we found a way to continue to serve patients while also helping those whose lives have been torn apart by the war.”

The donation is in addition to all other previously announced donations to Ukraine from Pfizer, the Pfizer Foundation and more than 4,500 colleagues who donated through the Give Forward programme.

Article by
Emily Kimber

24th June 2022

From: Healthcare

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