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Amnesty: Pharmaceutical Companies have Failed Over Corona

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According to Amnesty International, pharmaceutical companies have “failed tragically” in their contribution to combating the corona-induced global health crisis.


In a statement published Monday, the human rights organisation said the failure came despite repeated urgent calls for a fair distribution of corona vaccines. According to the organisation, the pharmaceutical companies’ policies have contributed to “a human rights catastrophe” in 2021.

According to Amnesty, the companies that produce the corona vaccines have monopolised sales in 2021, lobbied against intellectual property sharing, overpriced their vaccines and prioritised deliveries to rich countries.

The ten billion vaccine doses they produced in 2021 could have been enough to achieve a 40 percent global vaccination rate. That was the goal of the World Health Organization WHO. But instead, only 4 percent of people in poor countries had been fully vaccinated by the end of that year.

Rich countries hoarded vaccines, hampering delivery to poorer parts of the world. Rajat Khosla, Amnesty International’s Research, Advocacy and Policy Director, emphasises that “pharmaceutical companies played a central role in that human rights catastrophe”. According to him, the companies could have been the heroes of 2021. “Instead, they turned their backs on those who needed the vaccines most. They chose profit over human lives.”

Amnesty International calls for a change of course in 2022 to achieve the new WHO target by July this year: a worldwide vaccination rate of 70 percent. Earlier this month, the WHO announced that an additional €14 billion would be needed to help poorer countries control the pandemic.

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