Why is Pfizer leaving Azerbaijan?
Baku/07.03.22/Turan: Coronavirus vaccine producer American company "Pfizer H.C.P. Corporation" is leaving Azerbaijan, having announced the liquidation of its representative office. It was reported by newspaper "Vergilar" of the State Tax Service under the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan.
What caused "Pfizer's" departure, how it will affect the prices of vaccines and how much Azerbaijan has spent on the purchase of a vaccine "Pfizer"?
According to official data, 16,937,790 doses of CoronaVac, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria, Biontech/Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines were delivered to Azerbaijan in 2021.
The State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance informed Turan that 319,410 doses of Pfizer/Biontech vaccines were delivered to Azerbaijan by the end of November 2021.
According to approved contracts, another 1,344,330 doses of Pfizer/Biontech were delivered by the end of December. This batch of vaccines is due to expire on March 22.
In turn, the Ministry of Health refused to name the prices at which the vaccines were purchased. The Cabinet of Ministers told Turan that most vaccine manufacturers decline to disclose their prices.
However, in August 2021, the European Commission announced an alleged rise in vaccine prices. This was motivated by the need to adapt vaccines to the then new type of coronavirus - the delta strain. At the same time, it was reported that the cost per dose of Biontech/Pfizer grew from 15.5 euros to 19.5 euros.
Aydin Aliyev, one of the founders of the Public Association of Azerbaijani Doctors, believes that the closure of Pfizer representation in Azerbaijan is due to the fact that in the near future vaccination against coronavirus will lose its importance.
"As the pandemic will soon be over, it means that vaccinations will lose their meaning. Perhaps the company's withdrawal is due to this," Aliyev said.
Economist Natig Jafarli believes that the Pfizer's Baku office was more engaged in operational matters. "They dealt with vaccine transportation, ensuring storage regulations and logistical issues," Jafarli said.
As for the cost of vaccines, Jafarli believes that the Azerbaijani government is "not prone to transparency."
"It would be good if the government would disclose how much money was spent on vaccination, at what prices and at what interval the vaccines were purchased," Jafarli said.-06B-