Aspen Pharmacare Holdings within a few weeks needs clear commitments from African governments to order its Covid-19 vaccine or reassign this production line to more in-demand anesthetics.
According to the head of strategic trade Stavros Nikolaou, the largest drug manufacturer on the continent summed up the lack of interest in the pictures – the local version of the dose of Johnson & Johnson.
“We expected and were convinced that the regional production platform is critical and will be supported,” Nikolaev said by phone. “We were counting on these initial volumes to give us time so we could switch to other vaccines.”
He said Aspen only makes a point of coronavirus vaccines, and had no orders for its own brand of injections intended for sale directly in Africa.
The situation is an obstacle to Africa’s plans to catch up with Covid-19 vaccination levels in more developed countries and prepare for the possibility of future pandemics. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was part of a movement that criticized rich countries for stockpiling vaccines and tried to get pharmaceutical companies to share vaccine prescriptions, although the prevalence remains relatively low.
Aspen understands that African countries now have more injections than they were able to inject, so keeping the line open for the new Aspenovax vaccine may not make economic sense if orders are not inevitable, Nicolau said.
John Nkengasong, director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said talks were under way on how to increase demand for Covid-19 vaccines, and asked African countries to place orders with local producers.
“The reality is that if Aspen can’t get production, what’s the hope for others?” Said Nikolaev.
© 2022 Bloomberg