Medecins Sans Frontieres Files to Block Pfizer Patent on Pneumonia Vaccine in India

Monday, March 14, 2016

The charity Medicins Sans Frontieres has formally opposed U.S. firm Pfizer Inc’s application for an Indian patent on a highly effective pneumonia vaccine, saying it could deprive many developing nations of cheaper copies of the drug.

Some of the world’s poorest countries and medical charities such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) depend on India’s robust pharmaceutical industry to make cheaper forms of drugs and vaccines developed by big Western pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer.

If India granted Pfizer a patent on its Prevnar 13 pneumonia vaccine, Indian firms would not be able to produce affordable versions of it for domestic use or exports, MSF said.

“To make sure children everywhere can be protected from deadly pneumonia, other companies need to enter the market to supply this vaccine for a much lower price than what Pfizer charges,” Manica Balasegaram, executive director of MSF’s access campaign, said in a statement on Friday.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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