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Do what we demand, or no vaccines for you - Johnson & Johnson calls the shots

15 April 2021 9:00 AM
Tags:
Aspen Pharmacare
Pharmaceuticals
Pfizer
Refilwe Moloto
Johnson & Johnson
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
COVID-19
covid-19 in south africa
COVID-19 vaccine
big pharma
Laura Lopez Gonzalez

"In the middle of a pandemic - is this not a form of extortion, if you’re holding lives to ransom?" asks Refilwe Moloto.

Click here for all our Covid-19 articles in one place.


Johnson & Johnson wants special acknowledgement and a letter from the Minister of Trade and Industry about its investments in local Aspen Pharmaceuticals before it signs off on the 20 million doses promised to South Africa.

Pfizer has terms that risked handing over South Africa’s assets to the company.

In the middle of a pandemic - is this not a form of extortion, if you’re holding lives to ransom?

Refilwe Moloto, presenter - CapeTalk

“We found ourselves in a precarious position of having to choose between our saving our citizen’s lives and risk putting the country’s assets into private companies’ hands,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

“A lot of us here are in dismay with the terms being demanded,” said Marie Sukers, a member of Parliament’s Health Committee.

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. © Volodymyr Kalyniuk/123rf

Refilwe Moloto spoke to health writer Laura Lopez Gonzalez about the conditions placed on South Africa before it can get its promised J&J vaccines, and what it means for the country's troubled rollout.

Is J&J saying to South Africa… they need a guarantee from South Africa that it is going to buy enough stock in future to make it [partnership with Aspen] financially sustainable?

Laura Lopez Gonzalez, health writer

… getting local vaccine manufacturing off the ground will take investment and commitment from the government to buy locally…

Laura Lopez Gonzalez, health writer

Throughout this pandemic, pharmaceutical companies have been able to dictate terms they give to governments… It’s Johnson & Johnson calling the shots. It’s a power move.

Laura Lopez Gonzalez, health writer

When you can’t enforce penalties on providers for non-delivery, you lose the power to manage the public purse correctly. Pharmaceutical companies are calling the shots, and using the power they have…

Laura Lopez Gonzalez, health writer

Public outrage… is the only way to take them to task…

Laura Lopez Gonzalez, health writer

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




15 April 2021 9:00 AM
Tags:
Aspen Pharmacare
Pharmaceuticals
Pfizer
Refilwe Moloto
Johnson & Johnson
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
COVID-19
covid-19 in south africa
COVID-19 vaccine
big pharma
Laura Lopez Gonzalez

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