Former foreign affairs minister: Big pharma should be put in its place

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says that the European Union should be stricter with pharmaceuticals companies, in the wake of delays to coronavirus vaccine supplies, and consider not issuing selling permits for other medicines from the same firms.

"If the EU will were to stand up for its business interests, a resolute and strong business activity would be important," Reinsalu told ERR Thursday.

Reinsalu said that the firms are trying to create a competitive situation where EU member states are not supplied as effectively as they could be. "Since the contract with the EU has been concluded as a joint agreement, then this doesn't need to be dealt with as much, the contract is in their pockets and now, only 'third-world' countries are left to be dealt with. This situation is definitely unacceptable," Reinsalu added, noting that the EU has it in its grasp to be able to take on the firms.

"Now the companies need to be called to order in their business negotiations and not be allowed to dictate terms. The EU is still an economic empire, and it is possible for it to establish itself," Reinsalu noted.

Reinsalu said that as a preliminary measure, the companies could be pressured into not issuing selling permits for other medicines they produce.

he added that Estonia should actively look for other options and companies for COVID-19 vaccines.

Estonia had already drawn the line under more Moderna vaccines, on the grounds they were too expensive.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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