ESIP joins the Fair Pricing Coalition calling for transparent investment on COVID-19 vaccines

The COVID-19 crisis has put strains on healthcare system in Europe and across the world. In the attempt to overcome the crisis, the EU engaged in a number of measures and initiatives aimed at countering disruptions in the European health, economic and social systems. Amongst others, the COVID-19 European vaccine strategy, based on Advance Purchase Agreements (APAs), has been used for the join procurement of vaccines for COVID-19.

In this regard, the Fair Pricing Coalition, representing public health organisations, not-for-profit healthcare insurers, and healthcare professionals, supports the European Commission efforts to secure early access to safe and effective vaccines. However, the signatory organisations urge more transparency on the management of APAs and call for fair return on public investment in vaccines. Ahead of this afternoon’s hearing on the EUVaccinesStrategy, the Fair Pricing Coalition released a joint paper calling for:

  • Transparency on the amounts as well as on the destination of the EU’s spending on COVID-19 vaccines;
  • High standards of regulatory assessment of COVID-19 products;
  • Transparency of the vaccines joint procurement process;
  • Transparent liability clauses to make sure that responsibilities are fairly shared between manufacturers and the public sector.

The webinar offered the opportunity to stakeholders to exchange with top officials from the European Commission and the European Health Agencies.

With a view to the Fair Coalition Pricing call for transparency of COVID-19 vaccines spending, Sandra Gallina, DG SANTE Deputy-Director General, ensured that costs will be fully auditable. Furthermore, and regarding affordability, Gallina stressed that reasonable prices must be secured, so that future vaccines are affordable to all.

With regard to regulatory standards, the European Commission stressed the importance of vaccine safety and efficacy: Commissioner Kyriakides announced that the Commission “will not lower the bar for safety”, whereas Sandra Gallina recognised that “time [of development and manufacturing] is important, but so is safety”. Gallina also reminded the audience that the market authorisation process run by EMA requires robust and complete evidence and praised the ongoing rolling reviews to collect data.

On liability, Gallina made clear that even though public authorities will be made accountable for the payment of the legal fees in case of indemnisation processes, liability will rest entirely on the company. However, Gallina also highlighted that besides liability, it would be timely to rethink how we finance research on vaccines, with view to how to share the risks.

The Vaccines Strategy was also discussed in a Joint Hearing of the European Parliament Committees ENVI and ITRE held on September 22, where Members of the European Parliaments called for more transparency, both regarding vaccines development process and negotiations with producers.


Find out more about the Fair Pricing Coalition Joint position paper here.