A fraud and corruption investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office into the third contract established between the European Commission and Pfizer for the acquisition of vaccines against covid-19 is now underway.
PS MEP Sara Cerdas deplores the lack of transparency in the use of public money and the absence of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla at the European Parliament hearing at the Special Committee on COVI.
“Pfizer profited immensely from the pandemic. The unjustified absence of the Pfizer CEO in Parliament was in itself a bad sign. The recent findings call into question the whole purchase process, but more importantly, the European Commission’s actions have been called into question as correct purchasing procedural processes were not followed and at the end of the day, someone has to be held accountable.”
Last month a report was published by the European Court of Auditors warning of the lack of documents in the normal negotiating procedure for the 3rd vaccine purchase contract against COVID with Pfizer. An exchange of SMS between European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on contracts was also discovered, in addition to those already agreed on by the joint negotiating teams.
Sara Cerdas, a public health physician, asked for clarification on the sudden increase of €4.00 on each vaccine, as the figures quoted on the last Pfizer contact show that costs have risen from €15.50 to €19.50. The hearing, which was supposed to be attended by a Covid special committee, ended up taking place only with Janine Small, President of International Markets at Pfizer, who not only stood in for the company CEO but refused to answer some of the questions raised.
In the coming weeks, the coordinators of the political groups will take a position to demand more transparency from Pfizer and the European Commission. Sara Cerdas is the coordinator of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group of the Special Committee on COVID: lessons learned and recommendations for the future.
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